The Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) has expressed “shock and dismay” at journalist Shyam Meera Singh and 100 others being booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by Tripura police.
It demanded that the charge be withdrawn immediately and allow the media to do its work freely.
“The Indian Women’s Press Corps is shocked and dismayed by the act of Tripura Police of booking journalist Shyam Meera Singh under UAPA along with a 100 others,” it said in a statement.
“Shyam Meera Singh has alleged that he has been booked for tweeting “Tripura is burning.” It is a journalist’s job to inform, to highlight and present true the picture of events. It is not the journalist’s job to please people in power,” it added.
It further claimed the charge of UAPA on Shyam Meera Singh was an attempt to silence journalists by misusing laws.
Taking to Twitter, Shyam Meera Singh had said, “For writing only these 3 words “Tripura is burning”, BJP Government of Tripura has imposed UAPA on me. I want to reiterate once again, I will never hesitate to stand up for justice. PM of my country might be a coward, We journalists are not.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also flayed the use the UAPA saying that truth cannot be silenced by booking people under the stringent law. He attacked the BJP saying that its favourite cover-up tactic is “shooting the messenger”.
On Saturday, Tripura police had invoked UAPA against social media handles including those of journalists and activists over alleged clashes and attacks on mosques in Tripura.