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Thursday July 18, 2024

Arundhati Roy faces prosecution under terror laws over Kashmir remarks

Indian authorities authorized prosecution of Arundhati Roy, acclaimed Booker Prize-winning novelist for remarks about Kashmir

By Our Correspondent
June 16, 2024
Indian author Arundhati Roy, Grand Laureate for the 2020 Lee Hochul Literary Prize for Peace, speaks during a press conference in Seoul. — AFP File
Indian author Arundhati Roy, Grand Laureate for the 2020 Lee Hochul Literary Prize for Peace, speaks during a press conference in Seoul. — AFP File 

Indian authorities have authorized the prosecution of Arundhati Roy, the acclaimed Booker Prize-winning novelist, for remarks she made about Occupied Kashmir during a 2010 event in New Delhi.

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, who is a BJP member, has given approval for legal action against Roy under the infamous Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA); Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a former professor at the Central University of Kashmir who spoke at the same event, is also being prosecuted under the same law.

The 2010 event -- a conference in Delhi titled ‘Azadi - The Only Way’ -- had also featured Kashmiri political figures Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani.

According to reports, the FIR against Roy and Hussain was filed following a Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate court order in October 2010, based on a complaint by social activist Sushil Pandit, who alleged that Roy and Hussain had delivered speeches discussing issues promoting the “separation of Kashmir from India.” The 1967 UAPA law aims to prevent unlawful associations and activities in India, carrying penalties including death and life imprisonment. The UAPA applies to both Indian citizens and foreigners, and it allows for extraterritorial application. The law has been criticised over the years for being misused to stifle dissent and target critics of the government.