Tripura: Police books 71 people for ‘provocative social media posts’

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

The Tripura Police on Wednesday filed five criminal cases against 71 people over allegedly provocative and fake posts on social media.

A senior Tripura police officer has reportedly told PTI news agency that the cases were filed for allegedly spreading rumours on social media, related to the recent anti-Muslim incidents in Tripura. He also said that as per the preliminary probe, fake pictures and videos were uploaded on social media purportedly in a bid to tarnish the image of the government and the state police.

According to senior cops, the posts were aimed at disturbing peace and communal harmony in the state.

“Five criminal cases have been registered against 71 persons who posted provocative posts on social media. Strict action shall be taken against those persons who are trying to create hatred in the society,” the state police took to Twitter to say.

The Tripura’s BJP government and state police have been claiming that there was no law and order problem in the state and no mosques were burnt by Hindutva groups despite media including Maktoob reported several anti-Muslim crimes across the northeast state.

Tripura police said that the groups from outside had concocted a conspiracy against the administration to create unrest in Tripura and malign the state’s image by uploading fake photographs of a burning mosque on social media.

Maktoob reported more than two dozen hate crimes against Muslims including mosque vandalisation, attacks against Muslim houses, shops, and hawkers, molesting Muslim women, and anti-Muslim and genocidal slogans during the rallies.

This week, a group of Supreme Court lawyers who carried out a fact-finding visit to Tripura released a report and said that there was “a targeted violence against Muslims” in the state last week.

They visited the Chamtila masjid in the Panisagar region and found that the masjid was vandalised. Tripura police had repeatedly claimed that the Chamtila mosque was not vandalised and the reports are ‘fake.’ ‘The claims of Tripura police are wrong,” said the fact-finding team.

During four-day-long violence against Muslims, 12 mosques, nine shops, and three houses belonging to Muslims were targeted, according to the fact-finding team.

The latest violence was a “result of the irresponsibility of the administration” and “extremist organisations,” lawyers said.

The group Lawyers For Democracy said the assaults on Muslims could have been prevented if the police and administration had taken strict measures.