Govt response on Tripura communal riots is like C grade TV channels, SC told

Supreme Court. (File Photo: IANS)

The BJP government in Tripura claimed that allegations against it started with planted and pre-planned articles in tabloids

New Delhi: What the BJP government had said in response to the plea seeking probe into the recent communal violence in Tripura is like a “C grade TV channels” and did not behove a state government, the Supreme Court of India was told Monday.

While urging the apex court to dismiss the plea, the Tripura government, in an affidavit, had asked why public-spirited citizens who filed PIL, were silent on West Bengal violence.

“No individuals or group of individuals professionally functioning as public-spirited persons can selectively invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court to achieve some apparent but undisclosed motive.”

The BJP government in Tripura also claimed that allegations against it started with planted and pre-planned articles in tabloids.

The state government further added that these people were selectively outraged with it, though they remained silent on large-scale post-poll violence, which occurred in West Bengal.

Citing the state’s response, Advocate Prashant Bhushan said:

“This does not show it in a good light.”

Prashant Bhushan, representing advocate Ehtesham Hashmi, submitted before a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that “C” grade TV channels indulge in such whataboutery, but this is not expected from a state government in such a sensitive case of communal violence.

After hearing the arguments, the bench, also comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, asked the petitioner to give their rejoinder in the matter and scheduled the matter for further hearing on January 31.

On November 29, the top court issued notice on a plea seeking independent SIT probe into the communal violence in Tripura. The plea has been filed by Hashmi, through Bhushan has arrayed Centre, the DGP, Tripura, and the TripuraAgovernment as respondents.

The plea claimed that between October 13 and October 27, last year, hate crimes were perpetrated in Tripura by organised mobs.

“These included damage to mosques, burning of business establishments owned by Muslims, organising rallies shouting Islamophobic and genocidal hate slogans and delivering hate speeches targeting Muslims in various parts of Tripura,” said the plea.

The plea said no arrests have been made of persons who were responsible for desecrating mosques or vandalising shops and delivering hate speeches targeting the Muslim community.

Earlier, multiple reports by independent media groups, including BBC, and fact finding reports by Jamiat Ulema Hind and SC lawyers led by advocate Ehtesham Hashmi, had claimed that at least 12 mosques were burnt during the anti-Muslim carnage in Tripura that allegedly was in response to the “communal violence” in Bangladesh.

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