UAPA against journalists, rights activists for social media posts on anti-Muslim violence in Tripura denounced

New Delhi ,November 08 (KMS): The Editors Guild of India and opposition parties in Tripura have slammed the Indian police for booking journalists and rights activists under the black law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their social media posts on anti-Muslim violence in Tripura.

Indian police in Tripura state have opened an investigation against 102 social media accounts including 68 Twitter handles, 32 Facebook pages and two YouTube channels of journalists, activists, rights groups and community leaders under different sections of Indian Penal Code including the draconian law UAPA for their social media posts against the violence.

Tripura witnessed a spate of ant-Muslim violence by Hindutva forces like Banjrang Dal, VHP, BJP and RSS for more than a week in late October.

The Editors Guild said the cases against journalists under the black law UAPA was an extremely disturbing trend.

“Such a harsh law, wherein the processes of investigation and bail applications are extremely rigorous and overbearing, is being used for merely reporting on and protesting against communal violence,” the Guild said. It said that police cannot use UAPA against journalists to suppress reporting.

Meanwhile, the Tripura unit of Congress demanded withdrawal of cases filed against journalists and rights activists.

“The mosque at Panisagar was attacked by activists of VHP and houses of minority communities (Muslims) were vandalized by them. They should be arrested first,” state Congress chief Birajit Sinha told media.

CPI-M said that cases under the UAPA against activists and journalists is an act of intolerance. “If they had done any illegal activity then normal law was enough to take actions against them,” the party which is in opposition in the state said in a statement.

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