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Tripura women journalists allege intimidation by police over FIR

Tripura women journalists allege intimidation by police over FIR

Two female journalists covering the communal violence in Tripura and its aftermath have alleged that they were harassed by s group of policemen regarding an FIR filed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which makes accusations that they spread fake news about a mosque being demolished in Dargabazar, northern Tripura.

"Last night, at around 10:30 PM, cops came outside our hotel but they did not talk to us. When we were about to checkout at around 5:30 am, they told us about the complaint against us and told us about being taken to Dharamnagar Police Station for questioning," tweeted journalist Swarna Jha. She and fellow journalist Sammridhi Sukunia have been investigating claims of the destruction of the Dargabazar mosque which they say was confirmed by locals they spoke to.

She also shared a copy of the FIR (first information report), and mentioned a rally by the VHP in another post where she elaborated about what locals said.

"The police arrived yesterday at the hotel around 10:30 at night and served the FIR copy in the morning 5:30am. We were supposed to leave for the capital Agartala but have been not allowed to move despite full cooperation. There are around 16-17 police deployed outside our hotel," Samriddhi tweeted. According to the copy of the FIR which was posted on Twitter, the journalists have been booked under sections120(B) (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 153(A)/ 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and they may be questioned for allegations of spreading fake news soon according to reports. The Tripura government meanwhile has strongly denied any destruction of a mosque took place.

Controversy has already erupted over the Tripura government's heavy-handed application of the UAPA act on journalists online and lawyers who were part of the fact-finding committee investigating communal violence which erupted between Hindu-Muslim groups in Tripura.

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TAGS:JournalismIndiaCommunal clashFreedom of SpeechTripura violenceTripura Police
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