The Tripura police have booked NewsClick journalist Shyam Meera Singh under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his tweet on Tripura violence.
Apart from Singh, several activists, lawyers, and religious have also been charged under the stringent act for reporting, writing, and speaking about the incident. The team has also arrested six persons involved in the violence.
Following their detention, Singh and a few other activists moved the Supreme Court to quash the first information report (FIR) registered against them.
Besides, the West Agartala police also invoked the act against 102 social media profiles and sent notices to social media giants, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to freeze the accounts and provide all account holders' information, The Indian Express reported.
According to the report, four Delhi-based counsel who visited the state as part of an independent fact-finding team were also charged under Section 13 of the UAPA and various sections of the IPC.
The development came in the October 26 incident when the 12 mosques and three Muslim residences in the state were vandalised allegedly by the activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) amid protests over violence against Hindus in Bangladesh.
Amid the reports of violence, Journalist Shyaam has tweeted that the state was burning. In response, Singh said that the charges wouldn't stop him from raising his voice against the wrong.
The department said the listed account users were spreading 'objectionable news stories and statements related to the clashes. The users have exaggerated the reports and fabricated images of the violence to create communal disharmony, the police added.
"In publishing these news items/ posts, the persons/ organisations have been found using photographs/ videos of some other incidents, fabricated statements/ commentary for promoting enmity between religious groups/ communities in the presence of a criminal conspiracy," the official notice read.
Charges Against Activists, Journalist Condemnable
Speaking on the matter, the Editors Guild of India criticised the state government and the police authorities for filing charges against individuals for writing about the violence. The Guild termed the filing of charges as a 'disturbing trend'.
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