At a time when Delhi is witnessing widespread protests against the newly amended Citizenship Act, Delhi Police has been granted the power to detain individuals under the National Security Act.
The order that was issued on 10th January, renews the power of Delhi police commissioner to detain anti-social elements under NSA for the next three months, i.e, from 19th January to 18th April.
Under the National Security Act, people can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months. The detaining authorities are also free to detain people without telling them the charges for up to 10 days.
Also, the detained individuals can be put under preventive detention for months if authorities are satisfied that they are a threat to national security or law and order.
While people are fearing the move, Delhi police has opined that this is a routine order that is issued every quarter and has nothing to do with the prevailing situation.
For those who are wondering what this means, under the NSA, a person can be detained for 12 months without any charges being filed against them.— Meghnad (@Memeghnad) January 17, 2020
So for three months in Delhi, the police can exercise this power. https://t.co/vdtCrHAdRi
Let’s not panic.— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) January 17, 2020
This is a routine order issued once in every four months delegating power to the police chief to make detentions under NSA.
Not just in Delhi, similar orders are issued by every state Govt once in three / four months. https://t.co/zTXyw2HSFK
Lt. Governor Anil Baijal grants detaining power to Delhi Police Commissioner under NSA.— Lilly लिल्ली ಲಿಲ್ಲಿ 🇮🇳 (@LillyMaryPinto) January 18, 2020
It comes at a time when the national capital has been witnessing a number of protests against CAA & NRC.
Congrats guys! The NSA (National Security Act) is enacted in delhi for 3 months (19 jan- 18 april)Under this act the police can detain any person and there’s no need to tell the offence for 10 days. They can detain him upto 12 months and he does not get a lawyer!#NSA #delhi pic.twitter.com/1o2DYDj2F2— Iddham Kumar (@iddham_kumar) January 17, 2020
Fear psychosis. That’s the word. Routine orders now being circulated as if it’s an emergency. Today’s dope is on a routine order by Delhi govt. Delegating powers of nsa to police commissioner. In states, the power lies with DM. pic.twitter.com/0DtAzhbLw8— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) January 17, 2020
Similar orders have also been issued in Andhra Pradesh on 14th January.