CPIML on 19 March appealed for all-round opposition to the Armed Police Bill 2021 introduced in the Assembly by the government, dubbing it a draconian Bill.
CPIML State Secretary Kunal and leader of CPIML legislative group Mahboob Alam issued a joint press release stating that the Nitish government wants to smother democracy in Bihar and change it into a Police state on the lines of the fascist Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh. If this Bill becomes law, it will give the police power to search and arrest any person without a warrant. It goes without saying that the objective is to use this law to harass, torture and imprison political rivals and the poor people without any cause. This Bill is undemocratic and repressive.
The CPIML appealed to the people of Bihar to protest strongly for the withdrawal of this Bill. The party will organize protests all over Bihar with the demand for its withdrawal.
The Bihar government is going to introduce the 'Bihar Special Armed Police Bill 2021' in the Assembly in the name of ‘development’ of the state and safety for institutions like airports, metro etc. The plan is to reorganize the Bihar Military Police (BMP) through this Bill. The police force formed through this Bill will have the right to conduct raids anywhere without court orders and arrest people on the basis of mere suspicion. The courts will not have the right to take suo moto cognizance against any wrong action committed by this police force. To do this the court will first have to get permission from the government. The established rule is that information of the arrested person is given to the court within 24 hours. The new Bill makes no mention of this.
Section 7 of this Bill gives the police powers to arrest without warrant. Any officer of the Special Armed Police charged with responsibility for safety of a specified establishment can arrest any person without warrant and without permission from the Magistrate.
Under Section 8 of the Bill the police has powers to search without a warrant, while Section 9 empowers a Special Armed Police officer to hand over an arrested person to a police officer without delay or, in the absence of a police officer, to take or send the arrested person to the nearest police station along with a report of the circumstances under which the arrest took place. Section 15 says that no court can take cognizance of any crime without the government's permission.
This is in open violation of the constitutional legal system and is a fascist conspiracy to turn our system of a constitutional democratic state into Police Raj. Similar laws have been passed in a few other BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh. Neighbouring Uttar Pradesh has been turned into Police Encounter Raj under cover of this same law which is being used to crush every democratic voice. In Bihar also this new BJP-JDU government has issued many orders to crush voices of protest. First, it was the order to crush dissent on social media. Next, a diktat was issued banning protesters from government jobs and contracts. Now, this draconian Bihar Special Armed Police Bill is being introduced.
This is a fascist conspiracy to repress the anger caused due to the anti-people policies and measures of the BJP government. The government was unable to table this Bill in the Assembly on 19 March because of strong opposition in the Vidhan Sabha. Now it is proposed to table this Bill on 23 March. The entire Opposition is united against this. We also appeal to all human rights activists and justice-loving citizens to unite against this appalling undemocratic Bill and not allow it to become a law. This Bill is reminiscent of the draconian Rowlatt Act of British times.
CPIML will observed statewide protests on 22 March and burnt copies of the Bill across Bihar. Block level marches and meetings were also organized. CPIML has also opposed this Bill in the programs taken up on Shaheed Bhagat Singh's martyrdom day on 23 March.
CPIML organized statewide protests across Bihar including capital Patna against the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill 2021 on 22 March. Copies of the Bill were burnt at various places. In Patna the demand for registration of footpath vendors and pucca buildings for them was also raised along with the demand for repeal of the black Police Bill. Protests were also organized at Block HQs in Arwal, Supoul, Buxar, Jehanabad, Bhojpur, Siwan, Beguserai and other Districts. Protest marches were held at Fatuha, Paliganj, Naubatpur and Phulwari Blocks in Patna Rural.
The march in Patna culminated in a meeting at GPO Golambar led by MLAs Mahboob Alam, Sudama Prasad, Gopal Ravidas, senior leader KD Yadav, AIPWA leader Shashi Yadav, City Secretary Abhyuday, Anita Sinha, Jitendra Kunar, Murtaza Ali and others. Speaking at the meeting, leaders said that all Mahagathbandhan parties are firm and united against this draconian attempt to convert Bihar into a Police Raj. The protests in Arwal and Jehanabad were led by MLAs Mahanand Singh and Rambali Singh Yadav respectively.
This undemocratic unsonstitutional Bill is a fascist conspiracy to crush voices of dissent.