ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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ON September 7, the Governor of Tripura promulgated two ordinances, the Tripura Tribunals of Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance. 1980 and the Tripura Criminal Procedure Code Ordinance, 1980. Under the former, "high-power, special tribunals" are to be set up soon to try nearly 2,000 persons (most, if not all, of whom are tribals) who have been arrested in connection with the tragic events of June last. The second ordinance empowers the administration to keep undertrial prisoners in detention for a period exceeding what is permitted under the CrPC which at present already provides for custody for a period ranging between 60 days and 90 days. Whatever their declared intents, these ordinances are bound to be seen by the state's tribal people as yet another instrument in the hands of the administration which will necessarily be used against them. At least two undertrial tribals have so far died while in detention.

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