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1,198 people detained under NSA in 2017 & 2018

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The Union government has informed the Rajya Sabha that a total of 1,198 persons have been detained under the stringent Nation Security Act (NSA) in 2017 and 2018. Of them, 563 are still under custody, whereas review boards released 635 of the detainees.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union minister of state (home) G Kishan Reddy said according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report published in 2018, Madhya Pradesh detained the highest number of people under the NSA in 2017 and 2018 among all the states. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 501 persons were detained in different parts of the country under the stringent law in 2017, of whom 229 were released by the review boards and 272 are still under custody, the minister informed. He added that in 2018, 697 people were detained under the Nation Security Act across the country. Of them, 406 were released by the review boards and 291 are under custody.

In Madhya Pradesh, 795 people were detained under the NSA in 2017 and 2018. Of them, 466 were released by the review boards and 329 are under custody.

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In Uttar Pradesh, of the 338 people detained under the NSA in 2017 and 2018, 150 were released by the review boards and 188 are under detention, the minister revealed.

What is NSA?

The National Security Act came into effect on September 23, 1980. The Act empowers the Union and state governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. The Act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country. The Act was passed in 1980 during the Indira Gandhi government.

The maximum period of detention is 12 months. The order can also be made by the District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police under their respective jurisdictions, but the detention should be reported to the State Government along with the grounds on which the order has been made. The National Security Act may also be invoked if a person assaults a policeman on duty.

The National Security Act, along with other laws allowing preventive detention, have come under wide criticism for their alleged misuse. The Act’s constitutional validity even during peacetime has been described by some sections as an anachronism.

 

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