Police in riot gear stand guard inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after clashes between students in New Delhi, India, January 5, 2020. Photo: REUTERS
Amid ongoing protests in various parts of the national
capital against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National
Population Register, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor has passed an order authorising the city’s police, controlled by the Union Home Ministry, to continue keeping the national
capital under the National Security Act (NSA).
This law allows the police to detain a person without trial for months should it be satisfied that the individual poses a threat to national security. The city, as per the order, has been put under the NSA for three months starting 19 January.
Top police sources said the worries that this legislation had been introduced only because somehow the government wanted to put a lid on the protests were misplaced. This is because of the nature of security measures in the national capital which, as a Union Territory, comes under the control of the Home Ministry.
Delhi has long been under the NSA on the ground that its provisions are effective in dealing with insurgency. The NSA is renewed every three months. All that has happened is that the provisions of the NSA — which delegates important policing and other powers to the Commissioner of Police — has been renewed for another three months.