Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tripura anti-Muslim violence: Supreme Court to hear plea challenging invoking of UAPA

muProtest against anti-Muslim violence in Tripura outside Tripura Bhavan, News Delhi. Photo: Salim Shafi/Maktoob

Lawyers Mukesh, Ansar Indori, and journalist Shyam Meera Singh have moved the Supreme Court for the quashing of the FIR filed against them under the draconian UAPA over their social media posts and fact-finding reports on anti-Muslim violence in Tripura.

More than 100 people including Muslim leaders, lawyers, journalists and activists had been charged under the draconian UAPA for mentioning the Hindutva assaults on Muslims in Tripura through posts on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Four of them were arrested.

The Supreme Court agreed for an early listing of the plea, news agency ANI reported.

The first of these UAPA cases were filed against two lawyers, Ansar Indori and Mukesh, who were part of a fact-finding team investigating the violence against minorities in the state. Charges were filed against them after the fact-finding team’s report, ‘Humanity under attack in Tripura; #Muslim lives matter’, was published which highlighted the vandalisation of at least 12 mosques, nine shops and three houses belonging to Muslims.

Following this, Tripura police arrested four members of a Delhi-based Muslim NGO, Tahreek Farogh e Islam, who carried out a visit to Tripura. All four who were charged under UAPA were sent to 14 days in police custody by Dharmanagar Court.

Tripura police has also booked 102 social media account holders (68 Twitter profiles, 32 Facebook profiles, and 2 YouTubers) under draconian UAPA for their posts on the recent anti-Muslim violence unleashed by Hindutva groups in the northeast state.  The 102 include Jamaat-e-Islami Hind vice president Mohammad Salim Engineer, former Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan, Popular Front of India general secretary Anis Ahmed, Students Islamic Organisation of India national president Salman Ahmad, Maktoob journalist Meer Faisal, activist Sharjeel Usmani, journalist Shyam Meera Singh and scholars outside India, Khaled A. Beydoun and CJ Werleman.

The cases were first filed at the West Agartala police station and were subsequently transferred to Tripura’s crime branch. 

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.

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.

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