Police have arrested Sharmin Akter Nipa, better known by her screen name Mahiya Mahi, on charges of making 'false and defamatory' comments on social media in a case under the Digital Security Act. She was later ordered to jail by a Gazipur court.
She was arrested in the Dhaka airport area on Saturday shortly after returning from Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah, according to Deputy Commissioner Ibrahim Hossain of Gazipur Metropolitan Police.
Mahi’s husband Rakib Sarker, a resident of Gazipur, travelled to Saudi Arabia with her, but the actress returned to the country alone.
Rakib is a businessman and a member of the Awami League's Gazipur wing. The actress became a joint general secretary of the Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote's central committee following her marriage to Rakib.
Sub-Inspector Md Rokon Mia of Bason Police Station in Gazipur started the case against Mahi and her husband, accusing them of trying to undermine law and order through their comments on social media on Friday.
Gazipur Metropolitan Police commissioner will hold a media briefing over the arrest of the actress later on Saturday, Ibrahim said.
Rakib’s showroom Sony Raz Car Palace in Gazipur was vandalised before the filing of the case on Friday. He was involved in a dispute with a local over the ownership of the showroom’s land, according to the police.
The couple made a Facebook livestream to express their anger over the attack on Rakib’s showroom, alleging police involvement in the incident.
“Mahi is trying to seek people’s sympathy by making baseless allegations against the police. The couple never came to the police with any issue tied to the land dispute. We do not even know the people accused by the couple,” GMP Police Commissioner Molla Nazrul Islam said.