“Politically Motivated”, Says CPI(M), After Its Newspaper Shut In Tripura

CPI(M) mouthpiece 'Daily Desher Katha' has been shut down in Tripura over an "ownership dispute"

Agartala:

The registration of 'Daily Desher Katha', a mouthpiece of the Tripura CPI(M), has been cancelled over an "ownership dispute", triggering angry reactions from the party's senior leaders.

In a letter on Monday, the Registrar of Newspapers in India or RNI said the publication was being suspended based on a verdict passed by the district magistrate of West Tripura, Sandeep Mahatme.

It cited "unauthorised change of ownership" as reason for the cancellation of the Bengali Daily's registration.

Shyamal Debnath, a resident of the West Tripura, had filed a case against the paper earlier this year.

Talking to the press in Agartala on Tuesday, CPI(M) central committee member Gautam Das said the move by RNI was "totally illegal, politically motivated and anti-democratic".

Mr Das, who had served as the editor of the newspaper for over 40 years, 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."

The veteran leader relinquished the editorship of the newspaper 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.

Mr 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.

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