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Gauhati HC rejects plea to quash FIR against lawyer for glorifying Taliban

ANI | Updated: Mar 23, 2022 11:36 IST

Guwahati (Assam), March 23 (ANI): The Gauhati High Court has rejected a plea by an Assam-based advocate to quash an FIR lodged against him for allegedly praising and glorifying Taliban on his Facebook post in August last year when the US was withdrawing its troops out of Afghanistan.
The FIR was lodged by one Saleh Ahmed Laskar, Sub-Inspector of Hailakandi police station on August 26 last year alleging inter-alia amongst others that on August 21, 2021, Md Taher Ahmed Barbhuiya had uploaded one incriminating post in his Facebook account and the same was discovered by the Social Media Cell of Hailakandi police station of which the complainant is one of the members.
Hailakandi police alleged in the FIR stated that the name of the Facebook profile user is Advocate Taher Ahmed Barbhuiya has posted in the post "Ek Itihash Srishti Holo, Taliban Zindabad" which means "A history has been created, long live Taliban".
Police also alleged in the FIR that, Barbhuiya's post has praised and glorified 'Tehreek-e-Taliban' who was in fact are terrorists and have waged prolonged violent war against a democratically elected government in Afghanistan.
Following the FIR, under Sections 120 (B)/153(A)/505(1)(c)/ 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) R/W Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 was registered against the advocate at Lala police station.

While the police investigation is in progress, Barbhuiya approached the High Court for quashing the FIR on the grounds that he has not posted any incriminating message in his Facebook account as alleged in the FIR, rather he has written a Facebook post by criticizing the then situations in Afghanistan, where an Afghanistan national was seen handing over his infant to an American soldier over a high barbed wire fencing in an Airport for rescuing.
The petition said that he criticized the Taliban and applauded the American soldier for the rescue mission and he has been falsely entangled in the aforesaid police case.
He said that the contents of the Facebook posts as mentioned in the FIR is an edited version and manufactured and circulated in his name by some unknown persons and has not deleted any of the posts relating to the situation in Afghanistan.
Rejecting the submissions of Barbhuiya's counsel that, Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 had wrongly invoked against Barbhuiya, Justice Robin Phukan held that the "assertions made in the FIR, in fact, discloses commission of a cognizable offence by the petitioner."
"He has circulated as such toxic statements with intent to incite a community to commit an offence against other class or communities and the petitioner has circulated such statement containing rumours with intent to create and promote feelings of enmity, hatred and ill will between different religious groups and communities on the ground of religion," the court said.
"Since this court is not entitled to embark upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR/complaint...... it cannot be said that the assertions made in the FIR are unbelievable. In the given facts and circumstances on the record, and in view of the submissions made at the Bar, I am of the considered opinion that the assertions made in the FIR, in fact, discloses the commission of a cognizable offence by the petitioner...... I find no merit in this petition and accordingly, the same stands dismissed. The parties have to bear their own cost," the court noted. (ANI)