Tripura violence: State questions ‘selective outrage’ of petitioner seeking independent probe
The state government asked why the petitioner, Ehtesham Siddiqui, had not raised his voice against the West Bengal post-poll violence.
The Tripura government has questioned the “selective outrage” of a petitioner seeking an independent investigation into the anti-Muslim violence in the state in October, Live Law reported on Sunday.
The state government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, in response to a petition by lawyer Ehtasham Siddiqui. The petitioner is one of the authors of a fact-finding report on Tripura violence, “Humanity Under Attack in Tripura”, which was released on November 2.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Tripura government described the fact-finding report as “sponsored” and “self-serving”, and asked why the petitioner had not raised his voice against the post-poll violence in West Bengal in May, The Indian Express reported. “The so-called ‘public spirit’ of the petitioners did not move few months back in a larger scale of communal violence and suddenly their ‘public spirit’ aroused due to some instances in a small state like Tripura,” the state government said.
The Tripura government said that it was pointing this out not as a defence, but to show that the court was being “used for apparently oblique purpose”.
The state said in its affidavit that since the court stopped taking cognisance of mere newspaper reports, a “new device is found to be adopted”.
“Either a pre-planned and planted article started emerging in a few tabloids which becomes the basis of the PIL subsequently or such so-called ‘public-spirited’ send their own teams to generate a self-serving report,” the government said, according to The Indian Express.
The affidavit pointed out that the Tripura High Court has already taken suo moto cognisance of some incidents of violence. It demanded that the petition should be dismissed with exemplary costs. It added that if at all the petition was to be entertained, it should be remanded to the High Court.
In November, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the Centre and Tripura government on the petition. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing Siddiqui, had then alleged that the government and the police had not taken enough measures to prevent hate crimes in Tripura.
After attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh last month, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had organised a protest rally in Tripura on October 26, which led to violence and attacks on mosques as well as shops and homes of Muslims.
However, the police have repeatedly claimed that the law and order situation in the state was “absolutely normal”. They also claimed that no mosques had been burnt.
The fact-finding report, written by Siddiqui along with lawyers Mukesh Kumar and Ansar Indori, had stated that the violence had erupted because of the “irresponsibility of the administration, along with extremist organisations and the vested interests of ambitious politicians”. The report added that 12 mosques, nine shops and three houses of Muslims were damaged.