Social media post on Gyanvapi mosque: SI suspended over FIR against advocates in Karnataka

Police had arrested an advocate over his alleged derogatory post targeting a judge who delivered the judgement in the Gyanvapi mosque case.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 21, 2024 | 5:54 PMUpdatedFeb 21, 2024 | 5:54 PM


Following protests by advocates in Ramanagara district and the Opposition BJP in the Legislative Assembly, the Karnataka government on Wednesday, 21 February, decided to suspend a Sub-Inspector (SI), over an FIR filed against 40 lawyers.

Making this announcement in the Assembly, Home Minister G Parameshwara also promised strict action against a person behind the alleged derogatory post against a Varanasi judge, who delivered the judgement in the Gyanvapi mosque case, while calling the accused “a habitual offender.”

Police had earlier arrested Chand Pasha Ajoor, an advocate, following a complaint against him for his alleged derogatory post targeting a judge in Varanasi, which had led to a clash between two groups of advocates in Ramanagara last week.

The police also filed an FIR against 40 advocates based on a counter-complaint.

A group of advocates have staged a protest demanding the quashing of the FIR against 40 advocates, and also the suspension of Sub-Inspector Tanveer Hussain of Ijoor station, who booked the case.

Related: How a post on Gyanvapi mosque has led to a standoff between advocates and police

The issue in Assembly

The issue had also led to a war of words in the Assembly on Tuesday, with the BJP members staging a protest by trooping into the well of the House, demanding the suspension of the Sub-Inspector and strict action against Chand Pasha, who made the post.

“Yesterday there was a discussion in the House regarding an incident in Ramanagara to which I had replied by sharing some information, but the Leader of Opposition (R Ashoka) and members had said the answer is not proper and that the official — the Sub-Inspector — has committed a mistake, his conduct was not right and he has shown discrimination in filing FIR. They had also demanded his suspension,” Parameshwara said in the Assembly today as the House met for the day.

Stating that advocates in Ramanagara have also demanded the resignation of that official, and they have also planned to stage a protest in Bengaluru, he said, “So the government has come to a decision to suspend that official Tanveer Hussain, who is a Sub-Inspector. Already an inquiry has been ordered and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Channapatna has started the inquiry and the suspension will also help the inquiry.”

The Home Minister further said, it has been decided to take strict action against Advocate Chand Pasha, who is said to be the main reason for all this.

“He (Pasha) is a habitual offender. There is information about his involvement in such activities in the past. So we will take strict action against him,” he added.

The advocates’ protest

The members of the Ramanagara Advocates Association had been staging demonstrations since 9 February against the state government and district police for reportedly filing false FIR.

Giving details about the episode, Ramanagara Advocates Association treasurer RC Manjesh Gowda had told South First: “This incident began when an advocate named Chand Pash Ajoor put up a derogatory post on 3 February targeting a Varanasi District Court judge over permission to offer prayers at the Gyanvapi Mosque. He shared the post not only on Facebook but also on other social media platforms, including WhatsApp groups.”

Gowda noted: “The association condemned it and asked him to go appeal against the Varanasi court order if he was not satisfied with the judgement. Then, several workers of a Hindu outfit not only filed a police complaint but also demanded that the association take action against Chand Pasha.”

He added: “On learning this, Chand Pasha met the district police and complained that his Facebook account was hacked and that he never posted derogatory comments against any judge. Then, his supporters and members of various associations — including the DSS — flocked into the office of the association and demanded that it not initiate any action against Pasha.”

The association treasurer continued: “His supporters tried to convince us that Pasha was innocent. While submitting a memorandum, one of his supporters demanded permission to deliver a speech. We did not allow them as such activities are not allowed inside the association office. They were not ready to listen.”

He noted that Pasha had a history of posting controversial remarks on social media platforms, and sometimes targeted judges of a specific community.

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Decided to expel Pasha

He recounted: “We reminded them of the history of Pasha’s behaviour. But they were not convinced. They continued to create a nuisance in the association office despite our requests. After some time, we sent them away stating that the decision against Pasha would be made in the general body meeting.”

Gowda said all the members in the general body meeting decided to expel Pasha from the association. A decision to this effect was taken on 6 February.

“We also filed a complaint against his followers for creating a nuisance in the association office,” said Gowda.

“The next day, one of his supporters filed a complaint against 40 advocates, falsely claiming that we not only assaulted them but also hurled casteist remarks,” he added.

“Without making any preliminary inquiry, the police registered a false case against the 40 advocates on 7 February. This came to our notice after two days. Since then, we have been protesting against this atrocity by the police, demanding the suspension of the Ijoor SI,” explained Gowda.

He claimed: “When the police took the complaint against advocates, it should have been brought to the notice of either the district judge or the association president.” However, the police deny the existence of any such legal stipulation.

(With PTI inputs)