Ahead of GST, collectors given power to book ‘anarchists’.
Bhopal: In an “extraordinary” move, the Madhya Pradesh government has vested district collectors with powers to book “anarchists” under the National Security Act (NSA) in the wake of reports that the introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on July 1 may set off widespread protests across the state.
The order, issued by the state home department, will remain effective from July 1 to September 30.
The notification says, “There are reports with the state government that certain elements are active or likely to be active to disrupt communal harmony and commit act prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and security of the state. Taking note of it, the government authorised district magistrates across the state to exercise powers conferred under section 3 (3) of the National Security Act, 1980, during the period from July one to September 30 within their respective jurisdiction and can issue an order of detention under the NSA Act”.
The move is seen in several quarters as an attempt by the state government to quell possible protests by the business community against GST as well as proposed agitation by different farmers’ bodies in the coming days.
“It is not a routine order and has special purpose to it. It is a move by the state government to quell possible protests against GST and proposed agitations by farmers. It is an undeclared emergency in the state,” Congress leader Raja Pataria said on Thursday.
Different farmers’ bodies have given a call to launch a nationwide agitation from Mandsaur where five tillers were killed in police firing on June six, from July six, to press for their various demands.
An official spokesman of the state government here on Thursday however described it a “routine conferment of power on district magistrates for a period of three months as provisioned in the section 3 of NSA Act”.