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The judgment sent a clear message that the Indian state would not tolerate any actions that contravened the principles of religious freedom and individual rights
The Tripura High Court has reprimanded certain Chakma community groups for allegedly initiating a social boycott of a Chakma man and his family who had converted to Christianity. Justice Arindham Lodhi emphasized that India is a secular country where every citizen possesses the fundamental right to propagate, practice, and choose their religion.
The court made it clear that such actions by members of Chakma committees were in violation of the Indian Constitution and constituted an infringement on the fundamental rights of citizens. The judgment highlighted the principles of religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution and emphasized that no one could infringe upon an individual's right to choose their religion.
The court ordered the state authorities to take necessary measures to halt the religious persecution of the petitioner and his family, including the possibility of arresting individuals found in violation of the Indian Constitution. The judgment sent a clear message that the Indian state would not tolerate any actions that contravened the principles of religious freedom and individual rights.
The petitioner had alleged that two committees, the Uttar Andharcharra Chakma Samajik Bichar Committee and Kanchancherra Chakma Samajik Adam Panchayet, along with related members, had exiled him and his family from the Chakma community after he converted to Christianity in 2022. He claimed that he was labeled as anti-social and warned against socializing with other Chakma members. The committees allegedly also warned community members not to use the petitioner's auto-rickshaw.
The petitioner's counsel argued that these actions by the committees were in violation of the Constitution of India and the Chakma Customary Laws Code of 1997, which is typically followed by members of the Chakma community in Tripura.
The court directed the committee members to explain their conduct and set the matter for further hearing on November 29, 2023. The State authorities are expected to submit an action taken report by that date, as well.
Case Title: Sri Tarun Chakma Vs. The State of Tripura and 27 Ors.
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