Wife claims the journo was a victim of conspiracy
A journalist has been jailed in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for “spreading rumours” against Sunamganj 1 MP Mouazzam Hossain Ratan on Facebook.
Sunamganj Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Khaled Miah sent Mohammad Mahtab Uddin Talukder, 40, editor and publisher of Daily Haorancholer Katha and district correspondent of SATV, to jail after police produced him in court on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier, police arrested Mahtab Uddin from his home in Balaka Residential Area of the district town in the early hours of Tuesday.
The arrest of the journalist comes only days after journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, who had gone missing about two months ago after being named in multiple DSA cases, was arrested near the border and sent to jail on charges of trespassing.
Sunamganj Shelbarash Union Awami League General Secretary Benuar Hossain Khan Pathan filed the case against Mahtab Uddin with Dharmapasha police station.
The plaintiff claimed that he had filed the case after seeing Mahtab’s post on Facebook with the “intention of spreading rumours” against MP Ratan.
Earlier in February, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) questioned MP Ratan on allegations of his involvement in embezzlement of government money and links with casino business.
Moreover, in October 2019, the ACC imposed a travel ban on MP Ratan after the anti-graft body found evidence of money laundering against him.
Dharmapasha police station Officer-In-Charge Delowar Hossain said as per the case details, the reputation of the parliamentarian had been harmed by rumours spread by Mahtab Uddin in his Facebook post.
“We informed the Sunamganj Sadar Model police station after the case was filed. Later, Sumanganj Sadar police arrested Mahtab Uddin from his residence,” he added.
Talking to this correspondent, Rajat Kanti Sarkar, the defendant’s lawyer, said: “I sought bail for Mahtab. But the court rejected the application and sent him to jail.”
However, Sanjiba Khanum, the accused journalist’s wife, said: “An influential quarter has been conspiring against my husband for a long time. His Facebook account was hacked.
“This is a conspiracy. He is innocent. I demand justice for my husband before the court.”