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Monday, December 6, 2021
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‘Agents of political party’: Tripura minister criticises journalists out on bail

Tripura’s information and cultural affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury claimed that HW News journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha were seeking to create communal disturbancesTripura’s information and cultural affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury has claimed that HW News journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha were seeking to create communal disturbances in the state.

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A Tripura minister has alleged that the two journalists arrested on Sunday and later released on bail were “agents” of a political party and their aim was to create “political unrest” in the state.

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Tripura’s information and cultural affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury claimed on Monday the journalists who visited the state to cover reported incidents of violence against minorities were seeking to create communal disturbances.

His remarks came hours after HW News journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha were granted bail by a local court in Tripura on Monday following their arrest for allegedly spreading communal hatred.

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“They came here as agents of a political party with an intention to affect communal peace and cause a riot-like situation. They came here introducing them as journalists to provoke people with fake footage,” Chowdhury told reporters at Agartala’s civil secretariat.He didn’t name any political party in his accusations.

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Pointing to the recent violence in Amravati, Maharashtra, the Tripura minister alleged that Sakunia posted fake photos and footage, which sparked a protest in Amravati.

“This doesn’t suit a journalist. They have instigated people against the ruling party. Their attempt was to bring a particular religion together. That’s why, they were booked and as there is an internal security issue, police wanted to know where they came from and with what purpose,” he said.

The minister accused them of not cooperating with the police over questioning in connection with a case lodged against them at Kakraban police station.

“They told the police that they will take a flight to New Delhi from Agartala. But then they escaped to Nilambazar in Assam without any intimation. If they are journalists, why did they need to escape?” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury claimed that a certain group of people was conspiring to destabilise the state government and to bring a party from outside to power in Tripura.

“People disguising as salesmen are visiting houses and brainwashing people against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and chief minister [Biplab Kumar Deb]. We appeal to people to be aware of such rumours,” he said.

Sakunia and Jha were on Sunday booked in connection with two separate cases – in Fatikroy, Unakoti district, and in Kakraban, Gomati district – for alleged criminal conspiracy and for spreading communal hatred when they visited Tripura to cover reported incidents of vandalism of religious structures last month.

They were served a notice to appear before police in seven days in connection with the first case, and they were arrested in connection with the second case.

While they were on way to Silchar, Assam Police detained them in Karimganj district on Sunday following instructions from Tripura Police, who later arrested them.

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