New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill. Addressing the Lower House over the objections raised by the Opposition, Home Minister Amit Shah had reiterated the need to combat terrorism.

As the debate on the anti-terror bill raged, Shah asserted that the primary aim of it is to stop terrorism. Defending the bill, he argued that there are enough safeguards to ensure that the act is not misused.

Further, the Home Minister emphasised that anybody who indulges in acts of terror  should be branded as a terrorist. “A terrorist has violence in their mentality, it’s not about how many terrorist organisations are banned. Terrorists have to be stopped to stop terrorism in the world,” FirstPost quoted Shah as saying.

Restating the need to fight terrorism, Amit Shah said, “We have given the NIA power only for cases over which NIA has jurisdiction.”

Shah also said that it was time to rise above party politics as the need to fight terrorism is earnest. “I want to reiterate that the law was brought by the UPA, and if the federal structure has been spoilt it has been spoilt by the UPA. When it comes to an anti-terror fight, we should rise above party politics,” he said.

Shah added, “When you question us you don’t see who brought the law & amendments, who made it stringent. It was brought when you were in power, what you did then was right & what I’m doing now is also right.”

Notably, the bill empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists and empowers the Director-General, National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the agency. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, was moved for passage and consideration of the Lok Sabha by Minister of State (Mos) for Home G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday.

The Bill adds International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism to the treaties listed in the schedule of the Act. It also empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.

The Act provides that investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.