On November 14, Arindam Nath, IG (Law and Order), Tripura Police, informed that they had detained two HW News journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, on Saturday. They were detained based on multiple complaints filed against them for publishing and broadcasting false and fabricated news for disrupting communal harmony. The complaint was filed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s leader Kanchan Das.
Tripura Police have registered a number of cases against two female journalists Samriddhi Sakunia & Swarna Jha & detained them for publishing & broadcasting false & fabricated news aimed at disrupting communal harmony: IG (Law and Order) Arindam Nath— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2021
Assam Police detained the duo in district Karimganj while they were going to Guwahati. According to a report in Live Hindustan, Sakunia and Jha were on their way to Agartala. However, to skip security checks, they changed their route and travelled towards Assam. When Tripura Police came to know about the change in route, they informed Assam Police, after which they were detained.
According to News Agency ANI, Tripura Police said, “Taking a cue from the recent violence in Amravati & other parts of Maharastra as a repercussion, it has become clear that some vested interest is trying to flare up the communal incident in Tripura.”
Tripura Police says the two female reporters detained for allegedly publishing false news were “earlier found involved in spreading communal hatred at Paul Bazaar under Fatikroy PS under North Tripura”— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2021
Sakunia, in a tweet, shared a copy of the FIR against her and the other journalist. As per the FIR copy, a case under Sections 120(B), 152(A) and 504 of the Indian Penal Code have been registered at Fatikroy Police Station. In his complaint, Das said that the duo had visited Paul Bazar under Fatikroy Police Station and visited a few houses where Muslims lived. He alleged that the journalists “delivered instigating speech against Hindus and Tripura Govt.”
He further added that Sakunia falsely imparted VHP and Bajrang Dal for allegedly damaging the mosque on Paul Bazar. He said their actions were part of criminal conspiracy and to destroy communal harmony in the region.
Fake news of mosque vandalism and its after-effects
Tripura had faced a series of incidents related to vandalism and communal tension in the last week of October this year. The reports suggest that there were incidents where public and private property was vandalised during a protest rally organised by VHP in Tripura against the attack on Hindus in Bangladesh. As a result, a large mob of Muslims came out on the streets and restored to the vandalism of Hindu establishments.
Amidst the communal tension, some reports surfaced that a mosque has been vandalised in that. Several social media handles shared unrelated visuals and made fake claims of a mosque being damaged during communal tension. Both Tripura Police and Union Home Ministry have categorically denied such reports.
In the aftermath of Tripura violence, rallies were carried out in Maharashtra by Muslim organisations, including the infamous Raza Academy. Hindu establishments were vandalised, and owners were attacked at several locations. Curfew was imposed by the authorities in the regions where such incidents happened. Ministry of Home Affairs later issued a statement refuting reports of a mosque being damaged in Tripura and warned against spreading fake news to instigate communal tension.