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Agro security bill has clauses from Afspa

A bill to prevent bio-terrorism, trans-boundary genetic diseases and pests introduced in the parliament on Monday has adopted a clause straight from the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa).

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A bill to prevent bio-terrorism, trans-boundary genetic diseases and pests introduced in the parliament on Monday has adopted a clause straight from the Armed Forces Special  Powers Act (Afspa), providing immunity to any official, engaged in any experimentation of introducing genetically modified seeds or otherwise, resulting in the destruction of crop or swarming of pests etc, against any judicial or investigative proceeding.

According to section 74 of the agricultural biosecurity bill, no prosecution or legal proceedings shall lie against the government or any member of proposed authority or officers or other employees of the central government for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this act.

Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar introduced the bill, that also envisages setting up an authority to secure agricultural biosecurity of the country and prevent, control, eradicate and manage pests and diseases of plants, animals, marine (fish) and microorganism.

India has been under constant threat from the  spread of transboundary diseases such as the avian influenza and the Ug-99 wheat stem rust fungus.

@iftikhargilani

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