The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the petitioner, seeking probe into recent communal violence in Tripura, to file a rejoinder to the state government’s response,which urged the court to dismiss the plea.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing advocate Ehtesham Hashmi, submitted before a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that “C” grade TV channels indulge in such whataboutery, but this is not expected from a state government in such a sensitive case of communal violence.
The Tripura government, in an affidavit, had asked why public-spirited citizens who filed PIL, were silent on West Bengal violence. Citing the state’s response, Bhushan said this does not show it in a good light.
After hearing arguments, the bench, also comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, asked the petitioner to give their rejoinder in the matter and scheduled the matter for further hearing on January 31.
The Tripura government said: “No individuals or group of individuals professionally functioning as public-spirited persons can selectively invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court to achieve some apparent but undisclosed motive.” It also claimed that allegations against it started with planted and pre-planned articles in tabloids.
The state government further added that these people were selectively outraged with it, though they remained silent on large-scale post-poll violence, which occurred in West Bengal.
On November 29, the top court issued notice on a plea seeking independent SIT probe into the communal violence in Tripura. The plea has been filed by Hashmi, through Bhushan has arrayed Centre, the DGP, Tripura, and the TripuraAgovernment as respondents.
The plea claimed that between October 13 and October 27, last year, hate crimes were perpetrated in Tripura by organised mobs. “These 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.