A Kushtia court turned down the bail petition of Kheya Hotel owner Bishwanath Saha Bishu on Tuesday, a day after he was detained allegedly for harassing a US photojournalist in a drunken state at the residential hotel.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate SM Mesbahul Haque rejected the petition submitted by Bishu’s counsels after a hearing in the afternoon.
[caption id="attachment_52203" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bishwanath Saha Bishu
Police detained Bishu from Chhoy Rasta intersection in the town around 1pm Monday and questioned him at the Sadar police station over the allegation, which he denied.
In late afternoon, the same court sent him to jail after the police produced him before it under Section 54 of the CrPC.
His detention followed an executive magistrate order issued Monday morning asking the police to investigate the allegation, filed in writing by freelance photojournalist Allison Joyce on March 9.
Allison complained that around 1am on March 6, the accused had been drunk and tried to gain access to her room, hurled abuses and called on her phone repeatedly for half an hour.
Also Read- Kushtia hotelier detained over harassment of US photojournalist
She left the hotel after her local friend who used to work with her for a story in the district came to her aide. Another hotel, Rose View, refused to offer her a room as she was a woman.
She termed the situation a nightmare and shared the experiences on her Facebook, prompting some rights activists and journalists to raise the issue and demand justice.
Bishu later claimed that he had knocked the door to enquire about her discomfort caused due to a sound system near her room. In a letter to Allison, Manager Md Saidul Bari on March 13 said that the situation had occurred due to a misunderstanding and that it was not intentional.
[caption id="attachment_52453" align="alignnone" width="800"] The email Allison Joyce sent to Kushtia Sadar OC and a local Awami League leader on March 9. It was accepted by the deputy commissioner and the police superintendent on Sunday
Boston-born photojournalist Allison told the Dhaka Tribune that she had gone to Kushtia to cover a story on child marriage and checked in to the Kheya Hotel around 4pm on March 5.
Her “nightmare” experience started when she was woken at about 12:30am because the proprietor, Bishwanath, and his staff were being loud in the hallway outside her room.
“I went out to tell them to be quiet, but Saha [Bishwanath Saha Bishu] came and stood in my doorway, preventing me from closing the door. He was drunk and rambling incoherently, telling me not to shout in the hallway,” Allison said.