Photojournalist Kajol indicted in three digital security cases

The cyber tribunal based in Dhaka has indicted photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol in three cases under the Digital Security Act.

Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal set January 2 for recording witnesses’ depositions after a hearing on Monday, when the court rejected the defence’s plea to drop the charges.

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Kajol, who was missing for nearly two months after the cases were filed and denied bail for seven months, pleaded not guilty to the charges during the hearing.

FILE PHOTO: Shafiqul Islam Kajol seen handcuffed at a Khulna court on Sunday, May 3, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

On March 9 last year, Awami League lawmaker from Magura-1 constituency Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed a case against Kajol and 31 others, including Daily Manab Zamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station.

He accused them of publishing a report with false information regarding expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia — who had been arrested back in February on charges of smuggling counterfeit notes and sentenced to jail in October in an arms case — and circulating it on social media.

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Two more digital security cases were also filed against him with the Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar police stations in Dhaka on March 10 and 11.

FILE PHOTO: Shafiqul Islam Kajol is greeted by his son Monorom Polok after coming out of Dhaka Central Jail on Friday, December 25, 2020 CourtesyOn March 10, Kajol went missing after leaving his office. After a 53-day disappearance, he turned up in police custody on May 3 after the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested him on charges of trespassing at Benapole border in Jessore.

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For seven months, he was denied bail several times by the lower court. Finally, the High Court granted him permanent bail in the three cases in November and December. He walked out of jail after 237 days on December 25.

On April 18 this year, Detective Branch (DB) of police submitted the charge sheet against the photojournalist, and dropped the names of 31 others from the charges, as their involvement was not found.

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