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Dhaka Tribune

Baul singer Rita Dewan sued for hurting religious sentiment

PBI has been instructed to investigate the matter

Update : 03 Feb 2020, 04:54 PM

Two cases have been filed against a female baul (mystic singer) for making offensive comments and hurting religious sentiments.

Dhaka Bar Association Member Advocate Imrul Hasan filed the case against Baul Rita Dewan on Monday under the non-bailable section 28 of the Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018.

Earlier in the morning, producer and actor Russell Mia, filed another case under section 295 (A), 298,504 and 505(A) of the Penal code with the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court.

After recording the statement of the complainant, Judge Mohammad Ash-Shams Jaglul Hossain of Cyber Tribunal and Metropolitan Magistrate Rajesh Chowdhury directed the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to submit a report before the court after investigating the allegations.

Imrul Hasan said Rita made derogatory comments regarding Allah while competing with another singer in a mystic song duel [Pala gaan] at a recent event.

As the song went viral on YouTube, it hurt the religious sentiment of the lawyer. He also claimed that the song hurt the sentiments of the "Muslim community."

Section 28 (1) of the Digital Security Act 2018 says that "if any person or group intentionally or knowingly with the aim of hurting religious sentiments or values or with the intention to provoke publish or broadcast anything by means of any website or any electronic format which hurts religious sentiment or values, then such activity of that person will be considered an offence." 

Moreover, the law reads: "If any person commits an offence under sub section (1), the person will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years or fines not exceeding Tk 10 lakh, or both. If any person commits the offence mentioned in sub-section (1) a second time or repeatedly, he will be punished with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or fines not exceeding Tk 20 lakh, or both."

Meanwhile, Rita apologized on February 1 in an interview on YouTube channel Gaan Rupali HD after the song went viral on the Internet.

The complainant, in his case statement, said that after seeing the song on YouTube, he was aggrieved and rushed to Kadamtoli Police Station to file a case, where the police asked him to go to court.

Earlier on January 9, Baul singer Shariat Sarkar, was arrested for allegedly making comments that hurt "religious sentiments" under section 28 of the Digital Security Act. Mohammad Faridul Islam filed the case with Mirzapur police station in Tangail.

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