NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “doublespeak and hypocritical posturing” over India becoming a signatory to the “Open Societies Statement” at the G7 summit at Cornwall, highlighting the government’s “dismal” record of preventive detentions.
The latest editorial in the party mouthpiece, People’s Democracy, said while the prime minister became a signatory to the “Open Societies Statement”, which talks of “human rights for all both online and offline”, “right to assemble, organise and associate peacefully” and so on, the Modi government has a dismal and bleak record regarding all the virtues of democracy and the threats to it listed out in the statement.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an inordinate capacity for doublespeak and hypocritical posturing. Even then, his performance at the outreach meeting of the G7 summit at Cornwall reached new heights.
Modi was lauding ‘freedom of thought and liberty’ while presiding over a regime which has set a record in preventive detentions,” the editorial said.
Quoting official figures, it said 5,128 cases were lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the five-year period between 2015 and 2019.
There was a 72-per cent increase in the number of arrests under the UAPA in 2019 as compared to 2015.
The number of sedition cases rose to 229 in this period and it has continued to increase in 2020 and the first five months of 2021, it said.
“By the standards set out in the “Open Societies Statement”, the authoritarian Modi regime should be identified as a threat to freedom and democracy,” the editorial said.
The Left party also hit out at the Centre over the decision of the Delhi Police, which is under the Union home ministry, to approach the Supreme Court against the bail given by a court to three student activists in the Delhi riots case.
“Menacing destruction of Democracy and Constitutional guarantees. Instead of gracefully implementing Delhi HC verdict granting bail to youth illegally arrested under UAPA, HM manipulates stealing time to appeal against bail in the SC. Rise to defend our Constitution,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet.