Cancellation of the registration of 'Daily Desher Katha', which is allegedly the voice of the Tripura CPI(M), has stirred controversy among the party's leaders.
The Registrar of Newspapers in India or RNI, in a letter on Monday, said that the publication was being suspended based on a verdict passed by the district magistrate of West Tripura, Sandeep Mahatme. The letter cited "unauthorised change of ownership" as reason for the cancellation of the registration.
It may be noted that Shyamal Debnath, a resident of West Tripura, had filed a case against the paper earlier this year.
Speaking to the media in Agartala on Tuesday, CPI(M) central committee member Gautam Das said the move by RNI was "totally illegal, politically motivated and anti-democratic".
Das had served as the editor of the newspaper for over 40 years. He said, "The CPI(M) had a weekly newspaper titled 'Desher Katha' in the sixties and seventies. It was upgraded to a daily in 1979 following all procedures."
However, the veteran leader gave up the editorship of the Bengali Daily in 2015.
"In 2012, when I was still the editor, the ownership of the paper was transferred from the party to a duly constituted Society, under Society Registration Act-1860. It changed hands again this year as a newly formed trust took over the paper and CPI(M) member Samir Paul was appointed the printer and editor," he said.
Das, however, asserted that no norms were flouted during the transfer of ownership. "The party and the owner will move the Supreme Court against the RNI's move," he added.
(Featured Image: News18 Bengali)