A special court in Bengaluru has sentenced a 22-year-old to five-year imprisonment and imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 for “celebrating” the 2019 Pulwama attack by posting derogatory articles on Facebook.
At least 40 CRPF personnel had died when a convoy of the paramilitary force was attacked in Pulwama on February 14, 2019.
Noting that the accused made comments on the social media platform “more than 24 times” and “celebrated the death of the great souls as (if) he is not an Indian”, the court ruled that the offence is “against this great nation and (is) heinous in nature”.
The convict, Faiz Rasheed, a resident of Kacharaknahalli in Bengaluru city, was then a third-semester student of electronics and communication engineering. In a statement issued on Monday, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) said Rasheed had posted derogatory comments on the social media platform soon after the Pulwama attack the same day.
Following his arrest, he was booked for sedition, among other charges. He has been in jail since.
In the order, passed on Monday, Judge Gangadhara C M of Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge (Special Judge for trial of NIA Cases) found Rasheed guilty under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion,) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence). The trial was not conducted on Section 124A (sedition); it was kept in abeyance as per the Supreme Court’s directions keeping it in suspension.
The court said the prosecution has produced evidence to show that the accused made derogatory posts on Facebook by supporting the suicide attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama with an intention to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion. It noted that the prosecution has “adduced evidence to show that the accused made the posts and comments with an intention to disrupt sovereignty and integrity of India and (his) comments…clearly show that he felt happy with the incident…which caused disaffection against India.” — With PTI Inputs