MURL condemns Tripura govt for charging SC lawyers with UAPA

Hyderabad: The movement against the unlawful activities prevention act and other repressive laws (MURL) has strongly condemned the Tripura state government for suppressing the voice of dissent after a team of advocates from the Supreme Court visited Tripura on a fact-finding mission and they were charged under various section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13 unlawful activities prevention act (UAPA).

According to a statement from the MURL’s chairperson, justice Kolse Patil said the Agartala police issued notices against the people’s union for civil liberties (PUCL) advocate Mukesh and advocate Ansar Indori under section 13 of UAPA.

The charges initiated against them include sections 153 (A and B) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of origin, residence, and language etc), section 469 (forgery for purpose of harmful information), section 503 (criminal intimidation), section 504 (willful insult with intent to provoke the breach of peace pr create discord) and section 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under section 13 of UAPA, the statement added.

Supreme Court lawyers Ehtesham Hashmi and Amit Srivastava along with advocate Mukesh and advocate Indori released their fact-finding report on the Tripura riots, on November 2 (Tuesday) at the Delhi press club. Their report was titled “Humanity Under Attack in Tripura; #Muslim Lives Matter”.

The report directly blamed the BJP-led state government for the ‘misery’ caused to the minority Muslim community. According to the report, if the state government had acted on time, it could have thwarted and controlled the premeditated violence against the minority Muslim community, but it allegedly gave free hands to the Hindutva Mobs.

Justice Patil alleged that the BJP – ruled governments both at the centre, as well as the state, wants to benefit from the polarization of the two communities by spreading communal discord ahead of the elections to achieve Hindutva based political objectives.

The advocates registered their protests against the ‘planned religious hysteria’ created by the state government and exposed the malicious intent of the BJP amongst the locals of Tripura, which was not well received by the state government and local administration.

The Agartala police claimed that “the social media posts circulated by you/statements made by you for promoting enmity between religious groups as well as provoking the people of different religious communities to cause a breach of peace.”

The chairperson said the issuance of such notices to the lawyers and advocates is nothing but a blatant attempt to terrorize and intimidate them from speaking the truth and exposing the government fallacies. The invocation of section 13 of the unlawful activities prevention act (UAPA) is contrary to law, improper and a vindictive act against these Advocates, he remarked.

Patil stated, “e and the general public, who believe in the democratic process and law of the land, stand in full solidarity with these advocates in their fight against communalism and religious polarization”. He urged the law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of the country to come forward, unite and resist these excesses and inhuman oppressive laws.