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Women journalists freed from Tripura police custody on bail

Women journalists freed from Tripura police custody on bail

Agartala: Two women journalists who had been arrested for allegedly spreading false news regarding the destruction of a mosque in Tripura have been granted bail by a court in the Gomati district of Tripura. The Delhi-based journalists have been identified as Sammriddhi K Sakunia and Swarna Jha.

They had been live-tweeting their experiences regarding supposed intimidation by the Tripura police who had shown up at their hotel room and prevented them from travelling to Agartala yesterday. Soon after an FIR was filed against the two journalists for attempting to 'disturb communal tensions'.

They had visited Kakraban of Udaipur in Gomati district upon arrival, followed by bordering minority-dominated localities of West Tripura and Sepahijala districts. A senior police official had said in Agartala on Sunday the journalists posted on social media that a mosque was burnt in Gomati district and a copy of the Quran was damaged.

However, police suspect that the videos and testimony uploaded by the journalists are doctored in an attempt to promote communal hatred although the two journalists claim they have backed up their assertions with testimony from locals in the Dargabazar area where the mosque was allegedly demolished. The Tripura government has denied the allegations that any mosque was demolished.

According to the copy of the FIR which Sakunia says was filed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, 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).

The Tripura government has already come under fire for using the law to curb any kind of criticism surrounding the investigation into the communal riots in Tripura last month which saw a clash between Hindu-Muslim communities in the area. The Editor's Guild of India had also written a letter in protest at the application of UAPA to journalists commenting on the issue on Twitter.

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TAGS:Tripura Police Tripura violence Journalism Freedom of Speech India Controversy UAPA Tripura CM 
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