In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Tripura government said that a series of violent incidents had shook West Bengal before and after the State assembly elections which was “larger in magnitude” compared to Tripura violence, but the public interest of the petitioner was aroused only selectively during the latter.
“No individuals or group of individuals professionally functioning as public spirited persons can selectively invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court to achieve some apparent but undisclosed motive,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit was filed in response to the plea by advocate Ehtesham Hashmi who contended that he had personally visited riot affected areas of the State along with other Delhi based advocates and published a fact-finding report about the visit.
The following findings were inter alia published in the report:
a) 12 Mosques were damaged;
b) 9 shops owned by Muslim businessmen were damaged;
c) 3 houses owned by Muslims were vandalised.
The above findings were arrived at by the petitioner after meeting with families and persons who were at the receiving end of the vandalism, the plea said.
However, Hashmi said in his petition that instead of taking action against the miscreants and rioters, the police took action against those who spoke against the same.
It was also submitted that two of the Delhi advocates part of a fact finding team were sent notices under Section 41 A of the Criminal Procedure Code alleging that their social media posts promoted enmity between communities.
Further, it was also put to the Bench that the police had invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against 102 people, including journalists, for reporting and writing on the violence.