Tripura HC asks state govt to apprise it of measures taken to end communal violence; directs formation of peace committees at subdivisional, panchayat levels

THE Tripura High Court Friday took suo motu cognisance of the communal violence that has broken out in the state and directed the government to apprise it of the preventive measures the authorities have taken so far to end the violence.

A division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. Talapatra passed the order while stating that its sole concern was the protection of the life, liberty and property of all citizens of Tripura.

The bench appreciated the state government’s efforts to form various peace committees where there was communal strife but directed it to consider forming peace committees not only at the district level but also at the sub-divisional level and, if necessary, at the panchayat level also.

It called upon all political parties to participate fully in the peace process so that the confidence of the people of the state can be restored and the underlying strife that exists can be suitably dealt with.

The court also directed the state government to take action against social media platforms that were spreading false, fictitious and or fabricated news articles or visual footage.

“This court calls upon the social media platforms to also act responsibly … Media has every right, as a part of their activities to publish the truth. It should not be allowed to be used to spread untruths and spread communal passion”, the court said.

This came after the Advocate General informed the court that social media, in particular, had been carrying articles or visual footage which were either morphed or unrelated to the state of Tripura with the sole intent of igniting passions. “ We direct the State to initiate appropriate action,” the court said.

On October 26, a protest rally was organized by Viswa Hindu Parisad in Panisagar Sub Division, North Tripura District. The protest rally was organized against the attack on Durga Puja pandals and Hindu temples in Bangladesh. During the protest march, communal clashes broke out. There were allegations and counter-allegations even as multiple FIRs were lodged in the matter.

Some of the FIRs have alleged that three shops were burnt and damage inflicted on three houses belonging to members of the Muslim community. There have also been allegations about damage being inflicted on mosques.

Click here to read the order