Hearing on blogger’s bail pleas put off
Published: 2013-04-10 15:11:31.0 BdST Updated: 2013-04-10 15:13:13.0 BdST
A Dhaka court has ordered to jail four bloggers detained on charges of posting ‘inflammatory writings on sensitive religious issues’ on the internet.
The court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Erfan Ullah on Wednesday fixed Apr 15 for further hearing on the detainees’ bail pleas. There were no remand pleas on the day.
It also ordered detective police Inspectors Sazzad Hossain and Mainul Islam to be present on Apr 15. They had quizzed the bloggers in custody.
Of the blog activists, Asif Mohiuddin has already been quizzed for four days, while Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez were grilled for seven days.
On Apr 4, a Dhaka court granted the law keepers three days to quiz Asif, a day after he was called to the detective police office. His remand was extended by another day later.
It was a group of bloggers and online activists who first started protesting against the ‘lenient’ life sentence to convicted war criminal Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla for crimes perpetrated during the 1971 Liberation War.
The movement eventually spread across Bangladesh and the demonstrators demanded maximum penalty for the convicted war criminals and a ban on the Jamaat.
Chittagong-based Hifazat-e Islam came to limelight after it announced programmes to thwart a rally of the Shahbagh protesters in the port city last month.
The radical group termed the protesting bloggers ‘atheists’ and demanded their punishment.
Widely believed to be backed by the Jamaat, the group held a rally in capital Dhaka on Apr 6 to press for their demands including punishment of the bloggers and formulating a new anti-blasphemy law. The government has, however, denied any move to formulate such a law to try those hurting religious sentiments, saying that the existing laws were sufficient for the purpose.
A Hifazat-prepared list of 10 ‘atheist bloggers’, who the group demanded be hanged, had Asif Mohiuddin’s name.
Asif was attacked previously in January presumably for his writings in blogs.
Of the bloggers, Shuvo is an MA student of the Dhaka University, and Biplob and Rasel are former students of the premier university.
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