Condemnation of Tripura govt. continues for issuing UAPA notices to SC lawyers of fact-finding team

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By Khushboo Khan

New Delhi:  Protests and condemnation of the Tripura BJP government is continued after it issued UAPA notices to the Supreme Court lawyers and activists who visited the state on a fact-finding mission to ascertain anti- Muslim violence there. A protest held in front of Tripura Bhavan here on Friday by the several organizations while the social organization Popular Front of India condemned the Tripura Police for issuing legal notice issued to lawyers under UAPA and demanded immediate withdrawal of it.

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PFI said it extremely shocking that Tripura police, instead of ensuring security to vulnerable people under the threat of “Sangh Parivar violence”, are going after lawyers and human rights activists voiced against it.

The National Executive Council of Popular Front of India held on 4 and 5 November in Malappuram passed a resolution passed on the issue stated that no violence can last more than an hour without government inaction.

The violence that started in Tripura in the name of attacks against “Hindus in Bangladesh continued over a week.  Despite Hindutva organizations like VHP and Bajrang Dal having wreaked havoc in the state, destroying mosques and Muslim properties, Tripura police failed to control them. This was the situation that drove human rights organizations like NCHRO and PUCL to intervene through Fact-Finding Team.  At the press meet held in Delhi, they did their civic duty of letting people know the ground realities in the state and now they are being punished for that. This shows that governments are going to unprecedented levels to suppress human rights activism and objective reporting,” the resolution said.

It said the “Popular Front condemns Tripura Police actions against Adv. Ansar Indori of NCHRO and Adv. Mukesh Kumar of PUCL and demands immediate withdrawal of the legal notice issued to them under draconian UAPA”.

In another resolution, Popular Front also expressed dismay over the arrest of its members in Madhya Pradesh for submitting a memorandum against Tripura violence. MP Police arrested Popular Front members accusing them that the language of the memorandum they submitted had harsh language in it.

“A memorandum is a democratic means of conveying the concerns of the citizens to the Honourable President.  Arresting our members for submitting a memorandum is nothing but intolerance of the authorities in people expressing their concerns through legal and democratic means,”

The organization and its members will not bow before such intimidation tactics or abandon their struggle for justice.  Popular Front demands immediate release of our members and drop fabricated charges against them, it further stated.

Meanwhile a protest at Tripura Bhawan was held jointly by several organizations including NCHRO on Friday demanding the repeal of the draconian UAPA, “which is aimed specifically at silencing dissent” and withdrawal of notice to the Tripura violence fact-finding members.

After a team of lawyers went to Tripura to investigate the communal violence there, the police booked them under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and several other sections of the Indian Penal Code. Advo Ansar Indori from National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) and Advocate Mukesh from People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) were served a notice by the Tripura police on November 3, 2021.

Evidence of the communal violence which was directed at the Muslim population in Agartala came clearly before the public eye after the fact-finding team released its report in Delhi at a press conference on November 2, 2021. This was unacceptable to the BJP government in Tripura, which has been trying every maneuver to suppress the truth, and is repeatedly claiming that no violence took place there, citing the claims as a “misrepresentation of facts”.

Human rights organisation the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) condemns the slapping of UAPA on the human rights lawyers, Adv. Ansar Indori of NCHRO and Adv. Mukesh of PUCL, and demands that the case against them be immediately revoked.

Protestors said the intimidating tactics of the government aimed at silencing anyone standing for justice will not be tolerated.

Adv. Ashutosh Kumar Mishra, Vice President, Delhi, NCHRO, said “We stand in solidarity with the said lawyers and will continue our fight for justice and against the forces spreading hate in society”.

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