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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Advani wants anti-terror law back
LK Advani
Mr Advani is leading protests at Ayodhya over the latest attack
India's main opposition leader has criticised the federal government for scrapping controversial anti-terrorism laws passed by the last government.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani said the laws were essential to deter attacks such as this week's attack on a disputed religious site in Ayodhya.

The Congress-led government removed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) after it came to power last year.

It felt that the law had been grossly misused, especially against Muslims.

Six people were killed when suspected militants attacked a flashpoint religious site in the northern city of Ayodhya on Tuesday.

'Draconian'

"A special law is required to deal with terrorism - we had made one but to please a particular section of the society the government repealed it," Mr Advani told reporters ahead of a visit to Ayodhya on Friday.

He said most countries had special laws to deal with terrorism.

"The only country where government has removed it is India," he said.

Pota was passed in the Indian parliament in 2002 by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, in which Mr Advani was the home minister.

The law broadened the scope of the death penalty and gave prosecuting lawyers more scope to detain and interrogate suspects.

Amnesty described it as "draconian" saying its use contravened basic civil liberties.

Critics say that, following the religious riots in Gujarat state of 2002, Muslims were unfairly singled out under Pota.



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