- Fake news spread over social media has played a role in starting and spreading the riot.
- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has proved very useful after the Modi government gave more teeth to the law with a 2019 amendment.
- The fake news had spread like a wildfire that Hindus had torched a mosque.
- Chief Minister Biplab Deb is ensuring that no anti-social element gets a free run in the state.
The Biplab Deb-led Tripura government has come down very hard on the Islamists responsible for the Tripura riot. Fake news spread over social media has played a role in starting and spreading the riot, therefore, the government has decided to slap UAPA on the users who spread misinformation.
“Tripura Police have taken up a case against a total of 102 Twitter accounts under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for spreading fake & distorted information related to the recent violence that took place at Panisagar,” said Tripura police PRO Jyotishman D Choudhary.
Tripura Police have taken up a case against a total of 102 Twitter accounts under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for spreading fake & distorted information related to the recent violence that took place at Panisagar: Tripura police PRO Jyotishman D Choudhary
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2021
“The case which was earlier investigated by police is now transferred to the Crime Branch division of Tripura police. The police have been trying to trace the handlers of the accounts,” he added.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has proved very useful after the Modi government gave more teeth to the law with a 2019 amendment. The urban Naxals to people who were celebrating Pakistan’s victory in the cricket match against India, The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 has proved useful in cracking down all kinds of anti-national elements.
People who were behind Bhima Koregaon violence, CAA-NRC riots were also arrested under the same law. In Tripura, the Deb government has slapped UAPA against various Supreme Court lawyers, activists, journalists and religious leaders who are were behind the instigation and spreading of the riot.
After incidents of communal tension were reported in Tripura over fake news of mosques being burnt- the state government issued prohibitory orders under section 144 in the Dharmanagar sub-division in North Tripura district and Kailashahar sub-divisions in Unokoti district in Tripura.
It all started in Rowa in the Panisagar subdivision of Dharmanagar district where VHP was leading the march for the rights of Hindus who have been persecuted in Bangladesh during the recent Durga Puja attacks. While some elements in the mob did attempt to attack the mosque, they quickly were told to fall back in line.
However, by then, the fake news had spread like a wildfire that Hindus had torched a mosque. Soon, thousands of Muslims converged, and in areas like Kadamtala, attacked houses, shops, and vehicles belonging to Hindus; videos of which have also gone viral on social media platforms. In essence, the mosque was never touched, but liberals believe it has been burnt to ashes. On the basis of fake news, Hindus were attacked by Islamists. The propaganda outburst seems to be the handiwork of Islamists across India, and chief minister Biplab Deb is willing to have none of it.
Earlier Tripura Police IGP Saurabh Tripathi warned Islamists that fake news spread by them will not be allowed to pass and that the state government will come cracking down hard on them if they resort to spreading lies on social media. “Fake news and rumours are being spread in regard to yesterday’s incident at Panisagar. No fire incident took place at any mosque. A case has been registered against the viral fake posts on social media platforms,” Tripathi said.
Speaking to ANI, he added, “Anti-national and mischievous elements on Twitter and Facebook are spreading fake news and rumours. The videos and photos that are being spread have no connection with the Panisagar incident. No fire incident took place at any mosque”.
Tripura goes to polls in 2023, and chief minister Biplab Deb is ensuring that no anti-social element gets a free run in the state. Islamists might have thought they would be able to milk the stray incidents of violence, but the state government is ensuring that none of that happens. Biplab Deb is willing to shut down the entire propaganda machinery of Islamists by putting the culprits behind the bars.