Mahi accuses police of torture

Actress Mahiya Mahi was taken to a Gazipur court on Saturday afternoon after her arrest.Collected

Actress Mahiya Mahi Sarkar was granted bail on Saturday afternoon and was released from jail in the evening in a case filed by the police under the Digital Security Act.

The actress accused the police of torture in a press conference in Telipara, Gazipur after her release. She said, "I have been tortured despite the fact that I am a public face. I asked for water in the car which they provided after an hour. I was having trouble breathing.''

She alleged that the police mistreat her after she was arrested from the airport and was taken to jail.

In the press conference, Mahiya Mahi said, “I spoke against only one person, whose name is Molla Nazrul. I did not go against the entire police administration."

She further added, "The 15 million that I talked about will definitely be probed. I will go to everyone for justice. If there is any fault at my end, I will definitely accept the punishment.”

Gazipur Metropolitan Police Commissioner Molla Nazrul Islam said, "I have instructed the police to bring her with utmost caution. What she is accusing them of is not supposed to happen.”

Gazipur magistrate court judge Md Iqbal Hussain sent actress Mahi to the district jail after she was arrested from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Saturday. The judge granted her bail considering three issues at around 5:30pm. Mahi was released on bail from Gazipur District Jail about five and a half hours.

Gazipur district jail superintendent Anwarul Karim told Prothom Alo that Mahi was sent to the district jail at 1:50 pm from the court. She was released after verification of documents at around 7:30pm as she received bail in the afternoon.

Mahiya Mahi's lawyer Anwar Sadat Sarkar said that Mahi came to know about the case filed against her while performing Umrah Hajj. As a law abiding citizen, she immediately returned. Besides, she is 9 months pregnant and being a celebrity, there is no risk of her absconding. Considering these factors, the judge granted her bail.

Mahi went to perform Umrah with her husband. He stayed back in Saudi Arabia while Mahi returned.

Police case

The Gazipur Metropolitan Police (GMP) on Friday night filed a case against Mahiya Mahi and her husband Rakib Sarkar under the Digital Security Act for allegedly defaming their image on Facebook Live. Sub-inspector (SI) Basan police station of Gazipur city Rokon Mia filed the case as the plaintiff.

Apart from this, local resident Ismail Hossain filed another case against Mahi and her husband for land grabbing. Mahi and Rakib Sarkar among 28 were accused in this case. Accused in the case Sajjad Hossain (38), Ashiqur Rahman (32), Fahim Hossain (22), Jewel Rahman (25), Jamsher Ali (44), Mostaq Ahmed (22), Khalid Saifullah Julhas (30), Sujan Mandal were arrested on Friday night. (34) and Mahbub Hasan Sabbir (18) were arrested and sent to jail yesterday.

Molla Nazrul Islam told Prothom Alo that Mahiya Mahi's husband Rakib Sarkar has three cases against him involving arms, murder and rape. Although no one testified in those cases, but incidents were true. But now there is an opportunity to re-investigate the cases and collect evidence.

He added, “Apart from that, we constantly receive various complaints against Rakib Sarkar. His brother Sultan Sarkar has been committing extortion in the transport sector of Gazipur. Responding to the demands of the people of Gazipur, the police have stopped unauthorised and illegal vehicles movement on various highways that restored order on the roads.”

“However, Mahi went on live to say that the police demanded money from the transport leader, which is completely false and baseless,” he further said.

Facebook live

Actress Mahi went live on Facebook from Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Friday morning while performing Umrah with her husband. At that time she claimed that her husband has a car showroom named 'Soniraj Car Palace' on the east side of Alam Government College in Bhawal Badar. Miscreants attacked that showroom. The attackers broke into the showroom and vandalised furniture, doors, windows, tables and chairs in the store. The signboard of the showroom was also removed, she claimed. Miscreants ransacked her husband's office and looted money. This attack was carried out under the leadership of Ismail Hossain alias Laden and Mamun Sarkar.

Mahi and her husband Rakib Sarkar claimed on Facebook Live that GMP Commissioner Molla Nazrul Islam is helping Ismail to occupy  their car showroom in exchange of 15 million taka.

Ismail Hossain held a press conference on Friday after Mahir's Facebook Live. He held a press conference and claimed, "Rakib Sarkar grabbed about 11.25 decimal of his land and made a car showroom. I took the matter to various departments of the government including the home ministry. Meetings have been arranged over and over to resolve the issue.”

Mahi and Rakib again came to Facebook Live from Saudi Arabia on Friday around 12:30 am. They said, “Gazipur Metropolitan Police arrested our security guards among many others. They are kicking everyone out of our showroom. They threatened to shoot them. Can the police ever do that? We will land in Dhaka airport in the morning. We might be arrested then.”

*The report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat