Maharashtra under pressure, to tweak draft of internal security Act [Security]
- The Maharashtra government has decided to tweak the newly-drafted Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act following public outcry over its contentious clauses.
- The government will incorporate three changes:
- reduction in punishment from the current three years to half
- increase in restrictions on public assembly to 2,500 from the proposed 100
- including a clause defining that the draft of the Act will not be applicable on private functions such as marriages and parties.
- Act was introduced earlier this month with an emphasis on ‘maintaining law and order, combating terrorism, insurgency, caste violence, communalism, and bringing nuclear reactors, dams, major projects and coastal areas under its ambit’.
- But, the State was forced to withdraw the draft in the face of protests over clauses allowing the police’s arbitrary power to interfere in public gatherings and carry out security checks in public places.
- The draft also defines critical infrastructure sectors and proposes setting up of special security zones where movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited.