Case Under DSA: Journo Kajol denied bail by Dhaka court

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A virtual court in Dhaka yesterday rejected photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol’s bail petition in a case filed under the Digital Security Act.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dhiman Chandra Mondol of Virtual Court-4 passed the order after Kajol’s lawyer submitted the petition in an email.

During yesterday’s hearing held over video link, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua told the court that Kajol has been in jail since his arrest on May 3.

Moreover, the charges against Kajol are false and fabricated, he said and appealed to the court for bail.

The prosecutor said the accused committed a crime by making derogatory remarks on Facebook about a lawmaker and the bail petition should be rejected.

The court then rejected the bail petition.

On Tuesday, Kajol was named as the accused arrested in the case filed over the Facebook post.

Ruling party lawmaker Saifuzzaman Shikhor from Magura-1 filed the case against Kajol with Sher-E-Bangla Nagar Police Station in the capital on March 9.

Two other cases were also filed against Kajol under the Digital Security Act with Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar police stations on March 10 and 11.

Fifty-three days into his disappearance, Kajol was said to be found on May 3 by Border Guard Bangladesh in Benapole.

He was then arrested on charges of trespassing, but was granted bail after being produced before a Jashore court.

Later in the evening, he was shown in documents as detained under section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Police informed the court that three more cases against Kajol were pending with different police stations in the capital.

The court then sent him to Jashore jail.

RIGHTS ACTIVISTS DEMAND WITHDRAWAL CASES

Various civil and human rights organisations yesterday demanded his release and withdrawal of the cases against him.

They submitted memorandums to Law Minister Anisul Haque and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal.

The memorandum expressed concern over the case filed against journalist Kajol under the Digital Security Act, his disappearance, and arrest.

They requested the law minister to direct the concerned authorities to take necessary steps for his legal release.

“We, along with his family, are concerned that Kajol is at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Bangladesh’s prisons are overcrowded with more than double the capacity for inmates.

“It is pertinent to mention here that according to the government decision, at a time when convicts are being released from jail and accused are granted bail, Kajol has been arrested for allegedly infiltrating or sharing a report on Facebook which was published on a national daily. The case filed against him on this charge under the Digital Security Act is also not acceptable,” read the memorandum.

Those who signed the memorandum are: rights activist Sultana Kamal, retired Justice of the Appellate Division Nizamul Haque, Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir, Professor of Economics at Dhaka University Abul Barakat, General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha-Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dasgupta, Barrister Sara Hossain, and ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda, among others.

 

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