New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday broke his silence on the recent arrest of the human rights activists saying all have the right to speak and the freedom to express in a democracy but “no one will be allowed to destabilise the country and create violence. Also Read - Article 370 Won't be Restored, Says BJP; Accuses Mufti of Disrespecting Indian Flag
Allaying fears about the limitation on the democratic rights after the Supreme Court’s comment that “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. If you don’t allow the safety valve pressure cooker will burst”, the Union Home Minister said that there will not be any effort to compress the pressure cooker. Also Read - Fact Check: Viral 'Asur' Idol is Not Modelled After Chinese Prez Xi Jinping, But Inspired From Mongolians
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday described dissent as a safety valve after taking a dim view of the crackdown and directed that the five human rights activists arrested by Maharashtra Police should be kept under house arrest until the next date of hearing on September 6. Also Read - Durga Puja Pandals Alerted as IMD Predicts Heavy Rain in Bengal Over Next 2 Days
“I want to clarify that there will never be any effort to compress the pressure cooker. All have the right to speak, do whatever they want in democracy but no one will be allowed to destabilise the country or create violence,” he said.
“Our government is committed to upholding democratic values, see the record of those arrested. In 2012, too many of them were arrested and at that time also similar allegations were raised,” he said at the ‘Hindustan Shikhar Samagam’ event held in Delhi.
The Home Minister stressed that any effort made destabilise any government, “taking refuge in one’s ideology for promoting violence, conspiring to destabilise and break the country, I feel there cannot be a bigger crime than this.”
Rajnath Singh also claimed that the Modi government has been successful in bringing down the number of Naxals and checking Naxalism in the country. “Now they are adopting different measures, working in urban areas and influencing people with their ideology. They want to do violence in urban areas. I have got inputs from my agencies,” he said.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad termed the ongoing political violence in West Bengal as “unfortunate” and said that “right to dissent is a part of the democracy”. “There should be free polls in the democracy. Continued violence and killing of activists…is unfortunate. Many candidates of opposition parties in Bengal were not allowed to file nominations in the panchayat elections,” Prasad said.