Vindictive in Tripura
The forced closure of the CPI(M)’S newspaper in Tripura, Daily Desher Katha, on flimsy grounds triggers widespread condemnation and exposes yet again the intolerance of the Biplab Kumar Deb government and the BJP.
IN a direct attack on the freedom of the press, Daily Desher Katha ,the popular mouthpiece of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Tripura, was closed down by Biplab Kumar Deb’s Bharatiya Janata party (Bjp)-indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) government in the State. In what appeared to be a premeditated move, the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), apparently acting at the behest of the administration, cancelled the registration of the 40-year-old newspaper on October 1 on the grounds that it had violated the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867. This meant that the daily had to stop publication. The move is being perceived in political and social quarters as a veiled warning to those who dare to criticise the State government.
What appears to have been a simple lapse in updating certain information relating to the newspaper on the RNI website has resulted in this extreme step taken by the State administration. A complaint was filed by a local person in the court of the District Magistrate of West Tripura that there was a discrepancy in the information that Daily Desher Katha presented about itself in the newspaper and what was put up on the RNI website. The printline of the paper states that Samir Paul is the editor, printer and publisher and that the Daily Desher Katha Trust is the owner. But according to the RNI website, Gautam Das is the editor,
THE FRONT PAGE of “Daily Desher Katha” on October 1 before it was ordered to be closed.