Bengaluru Court Sentences Engineering Student Faiz Rashid To 5 Yr Jail For Celebrating Pulwama Attack
The Special Court in Bengaluru sentenced 5-year imprisonment to a 21-year-old engineering Student Faiz Rashid for 'feeling Happy' and 'Celebrating' the Pulwama Attack by posting derogatory comments on Facebook supporting the acts of the terrorists with the intention to disrupt the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The Special NIA Court presided over by Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge Gangadhara C.M. held that the prosecution has proved with cogent and convincing evidence that the accused made derogatory post and comments on his Facebook account on the suicide attack made by the terrorists on the C.R.P.F. Jawans at Pulwama.
The Court observed that "The accused has not made derogatory comments one or two times. He made the comments to all the posts made by all the news channels on facebook. Moreover, he was not an illiterate or ordinary man. He was a engineering student at the time of commission of the offence and he made the posts and comments intentionally on his facebook account. He felt happy about killing of the great souls and celebrated the death of the great souls as he was not an Indian. Therefore, the offence committed by the accused is against this great nation and heinous in nature."
After the Pulwama Attack, several News Channels reported the incident by posting on their respective Facebook accounts to which the accused wrote as a comment/reply to those posts that "Ek musalmaan 40 par bhaari pad gaya Kashmir ka hero", "ye tho mob lynching, ram mandir, 2002 ka chota sa badla tha.. trailer samajna kyunki picture abhi bakhi hai chutiyo" and "how's the khauf Indian army?? Gand Fatti?"
He had also posted pictures of the Hon'ble Prime Minister and other BJP leaders beneath the said comment with the words 'GALI GALI CHOR HAI'. He also posted photo of the suicide attacker who was seen holding a rifle in his hand.
On this basis, a suo moto case was filed and the police arrested the accused and charged him under Section 153A for the offence of promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different communities, section 124A for the offence of Sedition, of IPC and also under Section 13 of UPA Act.
The Court analysed the prosecution case and found that it was proved that the accused made the derogatory posts on his Facebook account by supporting the suicide attack made on C.R.P.F. Jawans at Pulwama with an intention to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religions which was likely to disturb the public tranquillity. And also, the admissions made by the accused during the cross-examination strengthened the case of the prosecution.
With regard to Section 153A of IPC, the Court noted that the prosecution has adduced cogent and convincing evidence to show that many Hindu community people became angry and commented on the comments of the accused and also made derogatory comments and that some people from the Muslim Community even supported the comments made by the accused and therefore, the acts of the accused clearly attract the ingredients of the offence punishable under section 153A of IPC.
With regard to Section 124A IPC, it was noted that the Court did not conduct the trial as the same is kept in abeyance in view of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in S.G. Vombatkere Vs Union of India.
With regard to Section 201 IPC, the Court observed that the prosecution has proved that the accused deleted the pots made on his Facebook account with the intention to cause the disappearance of the evidence and screening himself from legal punishment and therefore, offence under Section 201 IPC.
With regard to Offence under Section 13 of UPA Act the Court noted that the comments posted by the accused showed that he supported the terrorist act omitted by the terrorist against the Indian Army with an intention to disrupt the sovereignty and integrity of India and with an intention to cause disaffection against India and therefore, Therefore, the prosecution has adduced the evidence to prove the ingredients of unlawful activity as defined under section 2(o) of the UA (P) Act and the offence punishable under section 13 of UA(P) Act.
The Court expressed that "14.02.2019 is the Black Day in the history of India. A banned terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed made a suicide attack on the Indian C.R.P.F. Jawans at Pulwama through the suicide attacker Adil Ahammed Dar. In the said incident, more than 40 Jawans sacrificed their lives for the nation. Due to the said incident, the whole nation was immersed in an ocean of sorrow. In this situation, the accused celebrated the death of more than 40 Indian Jawans. The aggravating circumstance in this case is that the accused has committed heinous offence against the nation. He celebrated the death of more than 40 Jawans who sacrificed their lives to this great nation and supported the terrorist act committed by the terrorists."
Accordingly, the accused was convicted under Section 153-A, 201 IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 as the prosecution has adduced cogent and convincing evidence before the court to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.