Tripura violence: High Court takes suo moto cognizance

Protest against anti-Muslim violence in Tripura outside Tripura Bhavan in New Delhi. Photo: Salim Shafi/Maktoob

The Tripura High Court, after taking suo moto cognizance of the issue of violence against Muslims unleashed by Hindutva groups in Tripura, called upon the BJP government to file multiple affidavits by November 10.

The court intervention came after more than 15 mosques and several houses, and shops belonging to Muslims were vandalised and burnt by Hindu paramilitary groups RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal across Tripura during week-long protests against Bangladesh violence.

Having perused a brief note filed by the state government indicating some of the important steps taken by it to bring about communal harmony as well as action taken against the perpetrator of such violence, a division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. Talapatra stressed that its sole concern is regarding the protection of life, liberty, and property of all citizens of Tripura, reported Live Law.

Regarding the affidavits, one affidavit should detail the preventive measures that have been taken or its plan to scuttle “the design of stoking communal passion or to perpetrate violence”, HC told authorities.

The second affidavit should list the status of the investigation into the cases filed and whether any arrests had been made, The Telegraph reported.

“We direct the state to take urgent action in this regard so that the livelihood of persons who have lost their source of income can be restored at the earliest,” the court said.

Appreciating the role of the media in maintaining peace, High Court asked the media to remain vigilant at all times and continue discharging its duty in a responsible manner.

However, the BJP government repeated its claim that there were no attacks against religious places of Muslims in the northeastern state.

“Five cases have been registered, including in Panisagar and Unakoti. There has been no injury, casualty and desecration of religious places. No mosque has been burnt in Panisagar as reported. There has been no alleged widespread disturbances and violence in Muslim areas of the state as repercussion to attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh,” Tripura advocate-general S.S. Dey said.

Photos and videos accessed by Maktoob showed violent right-wing mobs who wear saffron clothes and carry swords raising anti-Muslim slogans during protests organised by Viswa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.