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Tripura violence: BJP seeking political benefit by polarising communities, say SC lawyers

By Sidique Qureshi*

Movement Against UAPA and Other Repressive Laws (MURL) chairperson Justice BG Kolse Patil has taken strong exception to the team of advocates of the Supreme Court, who had visited Tripura on a fact finding mission on the attack on minorities, obstructed by the Agartala police.
Worse, Justice Patil, who is former judge of the Bombay High Court, said, the police issued notices against Advocate Mukesh, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Delhi, and Advocate Ansar Indori under Section 13 of UAPA and sections of IPC.
The charges initiated against them include Sections 153-A and B (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of Religion, Race, Place of Origin, Residence, Language, etc), Section 469 (Forgery for Purpose of Harmful Information), Section 503 (Criminal Intimidation), Section 504 ((Willful Insult with intent to provoke the Breach of Peace/Create Discord) and Section120B (Punishment for Criminal Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In a statement, MURL, condemning it as an act of suppression of the voice of dissent by the Tripura government, said, the cases against Advocate Mukesh and Advocate Indori have been registered at West Agartala Police Station which mention “the social media posts circulated by you/statements made by you for promoting enmity between religious groups as well as provoking the people of different religious communities to cause Breach of Peace.”
Meanwhile, Supreme Court lawyers Ehtesham Hashmi and Amit Srivastava along with Advocate Mukesh and Advocate Indori have released their fact-finding report on the Tripura riots, have said that said that if the Tripura government had acted on time, it could have thwarted and controlled the premeditated violence against the minority Muslim community.
However, they alleged, but the the government gave free hands to the Hindutva mobs. Released at the Press Club in Delhi, the report, titled “Humanity Under Attack in Tripura: #MuslimLivesMatter" they has blamed the BJP-led State government for the misery caused to the minority community.
According to them, the BJP-ruled governments both at the Centre, as well as the State, want to benefit from the polarization of the two communities by spreading communal discord in view of the forthcoming elections to achieve their "Hindutva-based political objectives."
They said, the Issuance of such notices to the lawyers/advocates is nothing but a blatant attempt to terrorise and intimidate them from speaking the truth and exposing government fallacies. The invocation of Section 13 of the UAPA is contrary to law, improper and a vindictive act against these advocates.
We and the general public who believe in the democratic process and law of the land, stand in full solidarity with these Advocates in their fight against communalism and religious polarization, they said, urging We the law abiding and peace loving citizens of India to come forward, unite and resist these excesses and inhuman oppressive laws.
*Coordinator, MURL



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