Passed at the National Convention "POTO and National
New Delhi, 15th November, 2001
After eliciting opinions from various eminent speakers, consisting of
legal luminaries, journalists, intellectuals, human rights activists and politicians from
different parts of the country and discussing threadbare the background, perspective,
motive and provisions of the newly promulgated Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO)
2001, which is to be presented for approval before Parliament, beginning on November 19,
the national convention organized on November 15 at Rajinder Bhawan, New Delhi by the All
India Milli Council on the theme of "POTO and National Security" passed the
We call upon the people to reject POTO in toto as it is an enlarged
version of the now lapsed TADA.
We call upon the central government to withdraw immediately the
draconian ordinance and resort to the already existing laws to deal with the menace of
terrorism in the states where it exists, since there are bitter experience of the misuse
of similar laws like TADA. They had put a large number of innocent people into suffering
by putting them behind the bars years together.
We call upon the political parties, Members of Parliament, including
the entire Opposition and those within the ruling NDA or supporting it to defeat the
politically motivated ordinance (POTO) when it is introduced in both the Houses of
Parliament for its passage, in the same spirit it allowed TADA to lapse in 1995.
We call upon the allies of NDA, like TDP, DMK, BJD, Janata Dal
(United) and Trinamool Congress and others to rise to the occasion and oppose POTO in both
the houses of Parliament.
We urge upon all those organizations who have faith in democracy to
organize themselves to expose the dangers to the democratic values in the country.
POTO is a serious threat to civil rights, democratic institutions,
existing human rights in the country and freedom of press. Therefore, we call upon the
major political parties in the Parliament, particularly Congress party which has got a
significant position in Rajya Sabha, to come out openly against POTO, and defeat the
proposed Bill in Rajya Sabha.