Agartala: Tripura police on Sunday summoned two Delhi-based female journalists, who had gone to cover the reported communal tension in the state, to appear before it for recording their statements, accusing them of creating enmity between different religious groups and hatching a criminal conspiracy.
The journalists, identified as Sammriddhi K Sakunia and Swarna Jha, were booked under Section 153-A of IPC and 120 (B) of IPC. The mediapersons had arrived in the state on Thursday.
They had visited Kakraban of Udaipur in Gomati district upon arrival followed by bordering minority-dominated localities of West Tripura and Sepahijala districts. Later, they went to Fatikroy under Unokoti district on Saturday, where an under-construction mosque in Pal Bazar area was allegedly vandalised by some Hindu group, sources said.
According to police, Fatikroy police station had registered an FIR against Sammriddhi and Swarna on Saturday night, following complaints that they instigated local Muslims and compelled them to make statement against Viswa Hindu Parisad (VHP) that Pal Bazar mosque was set on fire-raising ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan on October 23.
In the meantime, the journalists left the district and lodged themselves in a hotel at North Tripura district headquarters of Dharmanagar. Police rushed to the hotel at night to serve them notice, but they did not receive the notice at night.
“Instead, they made a phone call to a lawyer in Delhi, claiming to talk to Kapil Sibal. They were planning to catch a local train early in the morning to Agartala for their forward journey to Delhi. But police stopped them in the hotel. After some time, an advocate came and then they received the notice and we allowed them to travel to Agartala, where they will have to deposit their statement on November 21,” said a senior police officer.
The story of burning Quran in a Mosque at Kakraban in Gomati district was allegedly cooked up by the accused journalists, which led to violence in Maharashtra for the last two days. Police claimed that the journalists were also part of the team, which has been visiting the state for two weeks in groups and spreading false information about communal violence.