An Imam claimed the singer's stage performance had hurt his religious sentiment
The High Court has issued a rule asking the government to explain in two weeks why folk singer Shariyat Sarkar alias Shariyat Boyati should not be granted bail in a case filed under the Digital Security Act-2018 on the charge of hurting religious sentiments.
The bench of Justice Md Emdadul Huq and Justice Akram Hossain Chowdhury issued the rule on Wednesday after hearing a bail petition filed by Shariyat Boyati.
Advocate Monira Haque argued for Shariat's bail in court while Deputy Attorney General Gias Uddin Ahmed represented the state at the hearing.
Monira said: "The case is based on a 51.58 minute video clip of Shariyat Boyati, a copy of which has been submitted in court. The video was presented in a misconstrued pattern to implicate Shariat."
There was nothing in it which hurts religious sentiments. At the same time, Section 28.2 does not apply to him. So the case should not stand against him, the lawyer added.
Police on January 11 arrested the 35-year-old folk musician Shariyat Sarker, when unrest gripped Tangail, led by pro-Islamic groups demanding that the singer be punished.
A case was initiated against him with Tangail's Mirzapur police station by the imam of a local mosque on January 9. Shariyat was later placed on remand following his arrest.
Mirzapur police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Sayedur Rahman said: "Acting on a case filed by Mawlana Faridul Islam under the Digital Security Act-2018 on January 9, we arrested the folk singer."
"The court granted a three-day remand against our 10-day-remand plea; we are questioning him in custody," the OC added.
Shariyat Boyati was accused of making hurtful comments on Islam during a show in Dhaka's Dhamrai on December 24, 2019.
Later the video of the program went viral via YouTube and other social media networks, triggering outrage among locals and pro-Islamic groups, who staged protests and demonstrations in Tangail demanding punishment for the singer.