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.

FrontLine - - POLITICS - BY SUHRID SANKAR CHATTOPADHYAY

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.

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