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Summoning of Kargil Activist for Tweet on Tripura Violence Draws Condemnation

Anees Zargar |
The police had issued a show-cause notice to the activist after his tweet and warned him that his post could spread hate and dislike against a particular community.
Summoning of Kargil Activist for Tweet on Tripura Violence Draws Condemnation

Image Courtesy: Voice of Ladakh

Srinagar: The Ladakh police has filed a case against prominent social activist Sajjad Kargili for tweeting about the violence in the state of Tripura where reports of communal violence have surfaced recently.

Kargili, 37, said he was summoned by the police station at Baroo over his tweets which he had updated on his social media handle based on the reportage around the north-eastern state. In the past week, anti-Muslim violence flared up in the region following which many religious places were targeted drawing concerns from rights bodies including the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Kargili, who had contested as a candidate from Ladakh Parliamentary constituency, condemned the violence on Twitter with a hashtag calling for an end to the attack on Tripura Muslims.

“Very sad news is coming from #Tripura for a few days, since last week Muslim are being targeted by Hindutva mob, their houses, mosques are being vandalised and burnt. Strongly condemn these non-stop attacks on Muslims in #Tripura,” he tweeted.

The police had issued a show-cause notice dated October 29 to the activist and warned him that his post could spread hate and dislike against a particular community.

“Since Kargil district has lots of visitors from other parts of the country comprising members of different religious communities and such tweet by you may result into harassment of such visitors in Kargil district.” the police notice read.

He was, however, booked under sections 107 and 151 on charges of attempting to commit a breach of the peace or disturb. Kargili was called to the police station the next day for an explanation.

“Condemning injustice, violence and communal hatred is not a sin and we all should, in a united voice, speak for it,” Kargili said.

The police added that the tweets from Kargili may result in the harassment of visitors, tourists and the local populace of the minority community.

“The content of your tweet may likely possess a big threat to the tourists coming from different parts of the country particularly the members of Hindus and Buddhist communities who are in minority in District Kargil,” the police said.

The summoning of Kargili by the police has drawn condemnation from various social and political groups including the prominent Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), who termed the summoning as an act of “suppression”.

“This violates the basic constitutional rights of freedom of expression and liberty of thoughts in the democratic set up of our nation. The very reason that India is being referred to as a mature democracy, is that it values dissent,” a statement from the body read.

“Summoning of a known human rights activist from Kargil by the police for a tweet on violence against the minority in Tripura is a glaring example of how the UT administration of Ladakh wants to silence those who speak against the violence,” CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami said.

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