HC stays Adilur’s remand
Govt claims arrest made on specific chargesStaff Correspondent
The High Court on Monday stayed the five-day remand order to interrogate the detained Odhikar secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and asked the police to send him to jail ‘at once’.
The government on the day claimed that the arrest of Adilur had nothing to do with the letter issued by the information ministry asking Odhikar to give details of the people who it had reported to have been killed in the police action on May 5, rather he had been arrested on specific charge of disseminating fabricated information and distorted photographs in electronic format.
Despite the court’s order
to send Adilur to jail at once, the police were yet to send him to jail from their custody. Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s media wing assistant commissioner Abu Yousuf told New Age that they could not hand over Adilur to the jail authorities as the High Court order did not reach them till evening.
The High Court vacation bench of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice Kashifa Hossain also directed the police not to take Adilur, also a Supreme Court lawyer, into further remand.
The court, however, observed that the investigation officer concerned ‘may interrogate the accused petitioner’ [Adilur] at the Dhaka Central Jail gate.
The High Court also issued a rule on the detective branch deputy commissioner and the investigation officer Ashraful Islam, asking them to explain in two weeks why the remand and detention of Adilur, based on a general diary lodged against him under Section 54, should not be quashed.
The court passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Adilur, challenging the legality of the orders for his remand and detention passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court judge, Amit Kumar Dey. Adilur also prayed for his bail.
The police produced Adilur before the CMM court Sunday afternoon after arresting him under Section 54 on Saturday night and sought a 10-day remand to explore the ‘plots against the state and the government’.
Former attorney general AJ Mohammad Ali represented Adilur Rahman while additional attorney general MK Rahman appeared for the state.
Mohammad Ali submitted that Adilur was arrested on suspicion under section 54 and no regular case had been filed against him.
Though specific allegation against the accused was made in the general dairy, it was done without filing a regular case, said Mohammad Ali.
He submitted that the police had arrested Adilur and the lower court granted the police remand to interrogate him in violation of the recommendations of the High Court laid down in the Blast versus the government case.
MK Rahman opposed Adilur’s bail and termed the lower’s remand order as ‘just and proper’.
The lower court had committed nothing wrong allowing the police to Adilur into remand which was granted in line with the High Court’s directives, he said.
Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu at a news conference at the Press and Information Department said that Adilur had been arrested on specific charges of disseminating fabricated information and doctored photographs in electronic format to provoke religious tension.
He said Odhikar’s report claiming that 61 people had been killed in the police action at Motijheel on May 5 was totally baseless, false, imaginary, politically motivated and politically provocative. ‘The report had no mention of the daylong spree of rampage, arson and looting by Hefajat people across the city,’ he said.
The one-sided report was prepared to protect the terror outfit Jamaat-e-Islami and also to support the propaganda of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party about the police action, he said.
The minister said Odhikar had refused to provide the ministry with information regarding the 61 people it claimed to have been killed on May 5. ‘Odhikar not only disrespected the Rights to Information Act by refusing to provide the government with the information but also disobeyed the state,’ he said.
The minister said the arrest of Adilur had nothing to do with Odhikar’s refusal to provide information rather he was arrested on specific charges of disseminating fabricated information and doctored photographs in electronic format to provoke religious tension.
Using such photos in the fabricated report and posting those on its website, Odhikar clearly violated the country’s information technology act and attempted to disturb peace and order.
About the concerns expressed by some foreign rights organizations over Adilur’s arrest and their demand for his release, Inu said the arrest of Adilur should not be viewed as a violation of human rights as his basic rights were well protected by the court, the administration, the government and law of Bangladesh.
Inu requested those organisations not to judge the rights situation in Bangladesh through the eyes of Odhikar but to consult others and collect information through field trips.
The minister said Odhikar was not an organisation out of the influence of politics or political parties as everyone knew the political links of its chief. ‘Adilur was the deputy attorney general of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government after 2001 and his bias towards BNP-Jamaat and against the 14-party alliance has been exposed,’ he said.
Inu also said that Odhikar was also biased towards sectarian-fundamentalist axis and extremist groups and opposed to the war crimes trial and Ganajagaran Mancha. ‘It has turned into a political wing of BNP-Jamaat-Hefajat with a façade of neutrality,’ he said.
The ministry of home affairs also issued a press note on the arrest of Adilur claiming that he was arrested only after filing of formal compliants with the Gulshan police and he was produced before court as per law.
The press note said Odhikar had released a 28-page imaginary report on the police action on the Hefajat rally claiming that 61 people had died and posted it on its website. ‘Such a report had caused deterioration of law and order and tarnished the image of the law enforcement agencies, the government and the state at home and abroad.
The detective police which had conducted a search at Odhikar office on Sunday night were yet to find any evidence in support of the charges brought against Adilur.
Senior assistant commissioner of DB police Md Obaidul Haque told New Age that they were yet to crack the passwords of the seized electronic devices. ‘Our IT experts are trying to break the code,’he added.
Asked why they had looked for something on the Rohingya issue during the search, Obaidul said that they were examining different aspects of the matter. ‘Since it is an issue under ICT act, we are prioritizing electronic devices,’ he said.
DB inspector Ashraful Islam, also the investigation officer of the case, told New Age that they were yet to find any political involvement of Adilur.
‘We are investigating the issue. Everything will be disclosed later,’ he added.
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