On Sunday, opposition parties criticised the Tripura Police for detaining 102 persons for posting on social media about purported communal violence in the state. These individuals, which included journalists and human rights advocates, were charged with criminal conspiracy and forgery under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The police had already filed a case against four Supreme Court attorneys under the UAPA and numerous sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly inciting communal strife through social media posts about recent violence against Muslims.
Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were also notified, and all such accounts were to be frozen.
The Congress asked on Sunday that all charges against persons accused of attempting to “spread communal strife” be dropped.
“Activists of the VHP destroyed the mosque in Panisagar, and also vandalised residences belonging to minority communities… they should be jailed first.” “I do not believe the lawyers who came to the state had any negative intentions or promoted any communal animosity,” Tripura Congress president Birajit Sinha told PTI on Sunday.
On October 26, unrest erupted in the state’s Panisagar town, with members from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad allegedly vandalising a mosque, a few houses, and shops (VHP). The event occurred on October 26 during a rally organised by the VHP to oppose communal violence in Bangladesh.
According to Hindustan Times, four persons were arrested, and authorities claimed that no mosque was burned and that the photographs displayed were not from Tripura.
On Wednesday, a Delhi-based lawyer was charged under the UAPA for allegedly posting false information about the incident on social media. This happened just hours after 71 people were arrested on suspicion of making false and provocative social media posts about communal unrest in the state.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) said in a statement on Sunday that when attorneys came to the state to investigate the violence, they were charged. “If they (lawyers) had engaged in any illegal activity, ordinary law would suffice to prosecute them,” the statement continued, “but imposing such stringent acts (as the UAPA) against them is an example of intolerance.”
Meanwhile, the Tripura police have stated that the actions taken against the 102 persons and Supreme Court lawyers do not imply that they are guilty. “Those people should go before the police and clarify their position if they have not said anything incorrect or had no aim of promoting communal enmity or hatching any plot,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Arindam Nath told PTI on Sunday.
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