‘The state itself repressing Pori Moni’

Pori Moni being taken to jail in a prison vanProthom Alo file photo

Speakers at a protest rally in Shahbagh on Sunday alleged that the state itself is repressing actress Pori Moni in various ways.

The protest rally of citizen’s said that the way Pori Moni has been arrested and placed on remand repeatedly is unwarranted.

Shraban Prakashani’s owner Robin Ahsan and activist Akramul Haque organized the programme under the banner of 'concerned citizens'.

Pori Moni at the court premises

The speakers demanded justice and immediate release of Pori Moni who was shown arrested in a case under the Narcotics Control Act.

Joining the rally virtually, rights activist and advisor to a former caretaker government Sultana Kamal said, “Nothing could be more embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating than we having to hold a rally or human chain to demand justice for a citizen of a free country. A person who filed a case after facing a crime, herself has been harassed in numerous ways.”

She also added, “Finally the state itself repressed her. The way the young lady was arrested was not justified at all”.

Misogyny has penetrated in every inch of society, she commented.

Sultana Kamal further said, nobody misses the chance to point a finger at women in the entertainment industry. People have made unsavoury comments, called her names and defamed her on social media even before the trial began. The law enforcers cannot avoid the responsibility of creating the opportunity for people to do so.

Sultana Kamal said, "The bail plea of the actress is not being heard fairly. Her lawyer was not allowed to apply for bail, not allowed to talk to her. This is a clear violation of human rights. No court can do that. We condemn and protest against it.”

“The state forces have to restrain themselves and ensure justice for the girl. They must ensure that whatever they do remains within the law in a decent, restrained, constitutional manner and above all, protecting the dignity and rights of the people. Otherwise, we will be forced to mobilise strong protests and resistance.”

Joining the rally virtually, Shahriar Kabir, the president of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said, “Pori Moni has been portrayed as a criminal in social media and various media outlets. The court will decide whether she has committed any crime or not. Media trials and spreading distasteful remarks cannot take place in a civilised society.”

He asked, why would the High Court not issue a suo moto against the police.

Human rights activist Khushi Kabir said, “A citizen of a country cannot be treated in the way Pori Moni was arrested. She was placed on remand thrice while her bail plea was turned down. This incident has endangered the law and order of the country. We demand her release immediately.”

She further said, “We were not duped by the fictional grounds of the case. We know the facts.”

Sadeka Halim, acting dean of the social sciences faculty of Dhaka University, said, "Pori Moni has been a victim of media trial. It is not warranted in any way. Pori Moni is an established actor. The reason of why she has been treated in the manner is not yet clear to us.”

Writer and activist Shashwati Biplab said, Pori Moni spoke against wrongdoings and that was her only crime.

Director and producer Habibul Islam said, “Pori Moni is an artiste. The way she is being presented is in no way acceptable.”

Among others, youth leaders Khan Asaduzzaman, poets Shatabdi Bhab and Kazi Nusrat, student leaders Golam Mostafa and Sumaiya Setu, producer Rashid Palash and Aparajita Sangeeta addressed the rally.