Supreme Court stops Tripura police from arresting lawyers Directs the force to refrain from taking coercive measures against attorneys and a journalist The Supreme Court has ordered the Tripura police to refrain from taking any coercive measures that include arresting two lawyers and one journalist under an anti-terror law. The three were booked under the Unlawful Activities...
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Supreme Court stops Tripura police from arresting lawyers
Directs the force to refrain from taking coercive measures against attorneys and a journalist
The Supreme Court has ordered the Tripura police to refrain from taking any coercive measures that include arresting two lawyers and one journalist under an anti-terror law. The three were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) of 1967 for their social media posts and reports on the recent communal violence in Tripura.
However, the bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana has issued a notice to the state, ordering, "No coercive steps, including arrest, shall be taken against the petitioners."
In October, reports of unidentified Muslim men committing acts of violence against the Hindu minority and their temples had emerged from Bangladesh. In the ensuing communal violence, six persons died and hundreds sustained injuries.
Protesting against these incidents, some Hindu organizations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), held rallies in northeast India's Tripura state. During these rallies, a mosque was allegedly vandalized and numerous shops and houses belonging to the Muslim community were ransacked.
But the Tripura police dismissed the reports as fake and stated that no mosque or shops were vandalized. The police maintained it had arrested six persons for their role in the violence and registered cases against them for their social media posts.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs also stated there were no cases of damage to any mosque in Tripura in the recent past.
However, a fact-finding report prepared with the assistance of advocates Kumar Mukesh and Ansar Indori found that the rallies in Tripura attacked 12 mosques, nine shops and three houses belonging to the Muslims. The report called for the formation of an inquiry commission to investigate communal violence. It also demanded punishment for those who spread false information on social media to incite violence.
A day after the report was made public, the Tripura police sent a legal notice to Mukesh and Indori, informing them of a case filed against them under UAPA for their social media posts and statements. The police also booked journalist Shyam Meera Singh for tweeting "Tripura is burning."
Thereafter, the accused had filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court to quash the proceedings. The petition also challenged the constitutionality of several provisions of the UAPA.