Jagannath University student Khadija finally walks out of jail

Jagannath University student Khadijatul Kubra after being reelased from Kashimpur central women's jail on 20 November 2023.
Sazid Hossain

Jagannath University student Khadijatul Kubra finally walks out of jail after around 15 months.

She was freed from Kashimpur central women’s jail at around 9 in the morning today, Monday.

Kashimpur central women’s jail’s acting jail superintendent Md Shahjahan confirmed the development.

After her release, Khadija told Prothom Alo at the jail gate, “What happened to me is completely unjust. I’ve spent around 15 months in jail despite committing no crime. I don’t want to say anything more now. I’m not in a mental state to say anything more.”

Khadiza who had been in jail in two cases filed under the Digital Security Act (now abolished), walks out of jail as a six-member bench of the Appellate Division led by chief justice Obaidul Hasan dismissed leave to appeal petitions filed by the state challenging her bail on Thursday.

“I didn’t spend a good time inside the prison. I had spent time saying namaj, fasting and studying in the prison. My honors second year exam will be held today. I would go directly to the university to attend the examination,” Khadija said.

Court and lawyers sources said trial courts rejected Khadiza’s bail pleas twice. On 16 February this year, the High Court had granted permanent bail to Khadija. The state then filed two petitions with the SC challenging the HC bail order. Later the Supreme Court chamber judge stayed the HC order and sent the issue to the regular Appellate Division bench for hearing.

Khadija then submitted petitions before the Appellate Division seeking the chamber judge's stay order be cleared. The Appellate Division on 10 July kept the petitions stand over (waiting for hearing) for four months.

Finally on Thursday, the Appellate Division heard the leave to appeal of the state against Khadija’s bail. Assistant attorney general M Saiful Alam represented the state while lawyers BM Elias and Jyotirmoy Barua stood for Khadija.

Khadijatul Kubra is a second year student of political science department at Jagannath University. Police filed two cases against Khadija and retired major Delowar Hossain for making anti-state remarks and tarnishing the country’s image online.

The police submitted chargesheet in two cases in last year’s May. Later Dhaka cyber tribunal issued arrest warrants against the two accused. Police arrested Khadija from her Mirpur house on 27 August last year. The other accused Delowar is abroad.