Two Bengal lawyers suspended for ‘anti-India’ post on Facebook

Kolkata: Two lawyers of the Barrackpore Court in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district have been suspended for six months for allegedly sharing an “anti-India post” on their social media profiles, a senior member of the state’s bar council said on Monday.

Lawyer Wais Goni and his junior practitioner Ananya Mukherjee allegedly shared an Urdu post on their respective Facebook accounts, which contained alleged derogatory remarks about the country’s armed forces.

The post allegedly contained disparaging remarks against Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot who was captured by the Pakistan Army after his fighter jet crashed in the Pakistan territory during a dogfight on February 27. Varthaman was released from captivity on March 1.

“Goni had received a link in Urdu on the day Varthaman was captured. His junior Mukherjee shared the link on Facebook from Goni’s profile,” Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, President of the Barrackpore Bar Council, told IANS.

“After translating the Urdu post into Bengali, it was found the post contained derogatory remarks about India and its armed forces. This was brought to the notice of the bar council. Both of them have been suspended for six months,” Bhattacharya said.

He said both Goni and Mukherjee have apologised for sharing the post, saying it was done “by mistake” and that neither of them knew Urdu.

“They said they did not know what the content meant as none of them knew Urdu. But the bar council felt both of them should have been more responsible and refrained from sharing something, which can be considered anti-national in nature. That’s why they have been suspended,” Bhattacharya added.