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Lawyers and journalists in Tripura arrested for revealing government complicity in communal violence

Protests in Delhi against the violence in Tripura

Lawyers and journalists in Tripura arrested for revealing government complicity in communal violence

Protests in Delhi against the violence in Tripura

Lawyers and journalists in Tripura arrested for revealing government complicity in communal violence

Protests in Delhi against the violence in Tripura

Lawyers and journalists in Tripura arrested for revealing government complicity in communal violence

Protests in Delhi against the violence in Tripura

After an outbreak of communal violence, the police have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to block further investigations.

Tripura state — in the north-east of India, surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides — is dealing with the aftermath of an outbreak of inter-communal violence between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

It began earlier in October in Bangladesh, when rumours spread that the Qur’an had been insulted during preparations for the Hindu Durga Puja festival. Muslim mobs attacked Hindu pavilions that had been set up for the festival, and violence spread throughout the country, with temples attacked as well as the homes and businesses of the Hindu community. Seven people died during the violence, and many more were injured.

In the aftermath, Hindu groups in Tripura were denied police permission to hold a rally in protest against the attacks in Bangladesh. They then became violent, carrying out revenge attacks on mosques in the region; in Rowa, market stalls belonging to Muslims were burned.

Both Hinduism and Islam are religions of peace. Yet India has witnessed frequent outbreaks of sectarian violence, and the events in Tripura have created an atmosphere of tension and fear that the situation could escalate. The international community has also called for reconciliation, with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) tweeting:

“USCIRF is particularly alarmed about reports from Tripura of mobs desecrating mosques and torching properties of Muslims. The Indian government must bring those responsible for instigating and engaging in religious violence to justice and must prevent further attacks.”

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