New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice on a plea seeking independent SIT probe into the communal violence in Tripura.
The plea, filed by advocate Ehtesham Hashmi through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has arrayed Centre, DGP Tripura, and the Tripura government as respondents. A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud permitted the counsel for the petitioner to serve the copy of the petition to the central agency and to the standing counsel of Tripura.
The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on December 13.
Bhushan argued that the petitioner has shown the manner in which the police are investigating the matter. He further argued that the police are not registering FIRs, invoking UAPA against journalists who had reported on violence, and sending notices to lawyers who produced fact-finding report.
The plea claimed that between October 13 and October 27, hate crimes were perpetrated in Tripura by organised mobs. “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.
The matter came up before the bench, which passed directions for effective control of law-and-order situation in Tripura prior to recently concluded municipal elections.
Hashmi’s plea claimed that state government authorities and the police were hand in glove with the perpetrators of the alleged hate crimes. “The Police and State authorities instead of attempting to stop the violence kept on claiming that there was no communal tension anywhere in Tripura and further denied reports of any mosque being set ablaze. However, eventually the police protection was extended to several mosques; orders were issued under Section 144 IPC; and compensation was also announced for the victims of the violence,” said the plea.
The petitioner urged the top court to issue direction to ensure that an independent, credible and impartial investigation is conducted into the incidents of violence against the Muslim community as evidenced by the fact-finding report titled: “Humanity Under Attack in Tripura” by SIT.