Sonara Degio’s Anti-Monpa Remarks Case: Court Rejects Plea To Dismiss FIR

  • NET Web Desk

Sonara Degio who is facing charges of making derogatory remarks against the Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh had his plea, of setting aside the FIR against him, quashed by the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court.

The court deemed the plea ‘devoid of merit’ and rejected it. On the 18th of October 2020, Sonara Degio who is a pastor in the Revival Church of Tawang against a Facebook blog post of Jampa Tsering wrote “Tawang Mampa from China you people are not Arunachal, India.”

His comments offended many members of the Monpa community especially those in Tawang. Later nine citizens of Tawang belonging to the Insititute of Ethics Governance And Law lodged FIR against Sonara at the Tawang Police Station. The FIR charged that Sonara had intentionally insinuated the Monpas to be Chinese or anti-India and his actions needs to be ‘punished as per prevalent law of the land.’

Pleading the case for the accused T. Son argued that his client had no intention to hurt the sentiments of any community and the comment was only made as a joke. He claimed that the FIR was politically motivated and his friend Jampa Tsering was not interviewed by the investigating officer.

However, the public prosecutor J Tsering submitted that ‘Tawang’ is a sensitive place and Sonara’s comments have insulted the Monpas at large. The prosecution argued that through his comments Sonara tried to create hatred among the Baptist and the Monpas.

The court accepted the observations of the investigating officer that when Sonara made those comments the Monpas of Tawang were holding a peaceful protest against the illegal construction of a Church. The court quashing Sonara’s petition commented that Sonara since he was a pastor, his comments could have created enmity between the two communities by provoking the peaceful protestors.

The court taking considering facts and arguments observed that “it cannot be said that no prima facie case, under section 153-A/405 Indian Penal Code, is made out against the accused/petitioner, so as to invoke the inherent power under section 482 quash the First Information Report(FIR) and the Charge sheet found the FIR” and found the charges to be valid.