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Imposition of Sec 144 in Agartala for 45 days against law: Tripura CPM

The Supreme Court made it clear that Section 144 cannot be used to suppress the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance, or the exercise of democratic rights.

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Agartala: The sudden imposition of 144 of CrPC for one and half months for the political parties in two police station areas of the capital city from today has fumed opposition CPI-M in Tripura after Trinamool congress.

Both the parties termed it as a desperate attempt of the ruling BJP to prevent the right to expression.

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The CPI-M secretary Jitendra Choudhury while demanding immediate withdrawal of the restriction said by imposing Section 144, the administration has contempt for the decision of the apex court passed on January 10 last year.

The Supreme Court made it clear that Section 144 cannot be used to suppress the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance, or the exercise of democratic rights.

He pointed out that the apex court had underlined when Sec 144 is imposed for reasons of apprehended danger, that danger must be an “emergency” and must strike a balance between the rights of the individual and the concerns of the state.

Moreover, the magistrate has given the powers under Sec 144 should be exercised in a reasonable and bonafide manner, and the order must state material facts to enable judicial review, Choudhury said adding, “In case of prohibitory order under section 144 of CrPC in Agartala Sadar sub-division till Nov 4 issued on the night when a political party had gone to the high court seeking permission for holding a roadshow in the city and the high court has also, accepted it without any question.”

He said that such prohibitory order would not only infringe the democratic right of the political party but also indicated the fascist attitude of a democratically elected government. Maintaining peace and tranquillity in public life is the fundamental duty of a government. Taking the plea of apprehension of breach of peace, no administration can impose such an order for a long time.

The police must explain why they didn’t arrest anybody as of now when BJP goons had ransacked four media houses and CPI-M headquarters in the city in front of hundreds of policemen. They burnt down more than 15 vehicles and motorbikes in public but police were silent spectators.
“A media house was seen to be attacked and two journalists were beaten in presence of police by BJP cadres from the rally and all the miscreants were identified but no action was taken. Instead, just to satisfy the ruling party, police have recommended imposition of CrPC 144, which is not acceptable,” Choudhury added.

He said altogether 19 political parties have scheduled to hit the street like other parts of the country against the central government for its total failure on Sept 27 next. By imposing Section 144, BJP led Tripura government is trying to cancel the protest in the state but people would not accept it.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Subal Bhowmik believed that on the previous night of hearing the case of their party which sought direction from the high court to hold a roadshow of Abhishekh Banerjee, Biplab Kumar Deb government compelled West Tripura District Magistrate to impose Sec 144 in the city and they would move to the high court again.

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