Advani wants stricter anti-terror law (Lead)

July 27th, 2008 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ahmedabad, July 27 (IANS) Arguing that the existing laws have proved ineffective in curbing terrorist attacks in India, Leader of Opposition L.K. Adavni Sunday reiterated that stringent anti-terror laws like the now repealed POTA must be revived. Speaking to reporters after his visit to the Civil Hospital here to meet the survivors of the serial blasts that rocked Ahmedabad Saturday, the senior Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader said: “Common law makes things very difficult for the investigating agencies in their fight against terrorism.”

“Some of the states have good laws to fight against organised crime, like in Maharashtra. Based on them, the Gujarat government had passed a law in the state legislative assembly to fight organised crime. But it is waiting the presidential clearance for the last four years,” said Advani.

“I demand that there should not be further delay of even a single day to give clearance to this law of Gujarat,” he said, referring to the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (Gujcoc) bill.

Advani, who represents the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency which includes parts of Ahmedabad, has often demanded revival of the Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA), which has been repealed.

Asked to comment on the need for a federal agency to fight terrorism, Advani said he had advocated it when he was home minister.

“But the states had opposed it that time. The states think this is an infringement of their matter. It is also against the constitution. But there is a need for such an agency when it comes to fight against terrorism. The states should be persuaded for that,” he added.

Criticising the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, he said: “There should be zero tolerance against terrorism. But we are not seeing the zero-tolerance policy on the side of the UPA government.”

“Last night, I talked to the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) and conveyed all these things,” Advani said.

He condemned the attack and added: “The most heinous crime committed by terrorists was attacking the hospital premises. Out of 46 deaths, 23 people died in the explosion in the Civil Hospital alone.”

Advani said: “The attacks are not against one state or one party but they are against the nation, they are against progress achieved by our country and this state (Gujarat). They are against democracy.”

He said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had briefed him in detail about the situation in the wake of the blasts.

“I appreciate the way people of Ahmedabad have reacted to this blast. They have maintained peace and shown resilience,” he added.

BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley also accompanied Advani during the visit.

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