K’taka: Advocates lay siege to DC’s office demanding SI’s suspension in defamatory post row

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Ramanagara (Karnataka), Feb 20 (IANS) Hundreds of advocates laid siege to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Ramanagara district in Karnataka late Monday night, declaring an overnight protest and demanding the suspension of Sub-Inspector (SI) of Police, Tanveer Hussain.

The protest is in response to Hussain filing an FIR against 40 advocates in connection with the incident of posting a defamatory post on the Varanasi judge case by an advocate and SDPI worker.

The advocates had also prevented Ramanagara DC, Avinash Menon Rajendran, from leaving the office since late Monday evening, blocking both entrances to the building.

The protest is still underway and agitating advocates have said that they won’t move until the SI is suspended.

JD)S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Opposition leader R. Ashoka visited the spot and extended their support to the protest.

Kumaraswamy said that he would take up the matter in the state Assembly session.

“I have not used incidents like this for my self-gain. I am surprised to see the deployment of police personnel here. The Facebook post was made by a Muslim, the complainant is also a Muslim, and the local MLA is also a Muslim. Ramanagara people have never seen such an incident,” the former Chief Minister added.

R. Ashoka, after visiting the spot and speaking to the protesting advocates, said that the local police are supporting the criminal.

“Ever since the Congress came to power in the state, incidents like this have been repeatedly taking place.”

“One of the IAS officers is a religious fundamentalist, claiming that whatever he does is always right. There is a rift between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, and the present situation is the result of that rift. No action has been taken against the accused,” the Opposition leader added.

A defamatory post by a SDPI worker and advocate, Chand Pasha, against the Varanasi judge, who announced a verdict in the Gyanvapi mosque case, had taken a communal turn in Karnataka last Tuesday.

Following the turn of events, the police filed an FIR against 40 advocates, triggering protests in the Ramanagara district.

The advocates are demanding the suspension of the SI and have been warning the state police that if the suspension order is not issued, a statewide protest would be launched.

A large section of the advocates have boycotted proceedings at the district court in Ramanagara and are staging a protest this week.

Police registered an FIR against the advocates based on the complaint by Rafiq Khan, a businessman from Ramanagara.

In the complaint, it is said that the complainant and others went to the Karnataka Advocates’ Association to submit a memorandum stating that the allegations against Chand Pasha were false.

“The accused waylaid, locked us, and assaulted us. The accused claimed that the place is not a mosque. They abused us by taking the name of our religion,” Rafiq Khan said in the complaint.

Earlier, the police had filed an FIR against Chand Pasha and 40 others based on the complaint by senior advocate B.M. Srinivasa.

It was said in the complaint, “Following the complaint against advocate Chand Pasha regarding his derogatory social media posts against the Varanasi judge on the Gyanvapi mosque, the Advocates’ Association held a meeting on February 6 to discuss action against him.”

“A group of 30 to 40 people barged into the president’s room in the Advocates’ Association and pressured them not to take any action against Chand Pasha.”

“The group threatened them with consequences if any action was initiated. The mob created a communal atmosphere in the court premises and unrest. All this was done at the behest of Chand Pasha.”

The complaint also said, “Our Advocates’ Association member Chand Pasha has put up posts that undermine the dignity of the judiciary and the judge regarding the verdict on the Gyanvapi mosque. He has published derogatory messages on WhatsApp groups and insulted the Indian judiciary.”

“Being an advocate and a person aware of the law, the posts against the judiciary were a matter of concern. The Advocates’ Association had received complaints against Chand Pasha, and hence the meeting was convened,” the complaint added.

A delegation of advocates headed by H.L. Vishal Raghu, the Chairman of Karnataka Bar Council, had met Superintendent of Police Karthik Reddy and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

Vishal Raghu has demanded that the SI of Ijoor police station, Tanveer Hussain, who lodged a false complaint against the advocates, must be suspended from service.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Police had arrested Chand Pasha, in connection with the defamatory post against the District Judge of Varanasi.



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