Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said without the arrest of Tito Chandra Roy, the man charged with putting up a controversial Facebook post that triggered a communal attack in Rangpur's Thakurpara village, there was no way to determine whether or not he was innocent.
“How will we prove that he is innocent unless we arrest him?” Asaduzzaman told reporters at the Secretariat, after attending an inter-ministerial meeting on the security measures taken for the upcoming Victory Day on December 16.
“We have learned that Tito Roy had not been living in the area for four to five years. But the mobile phone he used was the one used to put up the controversial [Facebook] status. There is a conspiracy going on over this matter. If Tito Roy is not involved, he will be acquitted. If he is involved, he should be put on trial,” the home minister added.
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On Wednesday, a Rangpur court put Tito Roy on a four-day remand in a case filed over putting up a derogatory Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Tito was arrested on Tuesday from Jaldhaka upazila of Nilphamari, four days after a group of unidentified miscreants, in retaliation of the supposed demeaning post by Tito, attacked Thakurpara village in Rangpur and vandalised a number of houses belonging to Hindu people.
One person was killed in the clash and many others were injured.
Later, a local businessman named Razu Mia filed a case against Tito under the ICT Act.
Asked to comment on the allegations of mass arrests by law enforcement agencies following the communal attack, the home minister said: “We are not carrying out indiscriminate arrests. We are scrutinising before the arrest. Although no video footage of the attack is available, those who have been identified from the photos are being arrested.”
When reporters mentioned that the High Court had earlier ruled not to arrest anyone just after a controversial Facebook post is detected, Asaduzzaman said: “We are a secular country. But whenever we find evidence of defaming any religion, we make arrests.”
The article was originally published in Bangla Tribune