Pinaki Bhattacharya

A case has been filed against writer and online activist Pinaki Bhattacharya and two others on charges of maligning image of the country under Digital Security Act in Dhaka.

The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) filed the case with Ramna police station on 15 October accusing them of maligning the image of the country.

The other two accused in the case are Mofizur Rahman and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansary. Mofizur is in jail while Mushfiqul is on the run.

Deputy commissioner (DC) of DMP’s media wing Md Faruque Hossain told Prothom Alo that Pinaki had been involved in an anti-government campaign staying in France. If his details are available, he would be brought back from France through Interpol.

According to the case statement, CTTC on 14 October noticed a Facebook status posted by Pinaki. The post spread misinformation about the police force. 

Police arrested Mofizur Rahman from his residence in the city’s Pallabi area over the Facebook post. The law enforcers also seized two mobile phones of Mofizur.

DMP’s city intelligence analysis department sub inspector KM Abdullah Hil Maruf in the case statement alleged that Mofizur contacted various persons including Pinaki and Mushfiqul through messenger from a fake Facebook ID. 

Distorted information and a picture of a police raid in Dhaka’s Mirpur area were sent to Pinaki through messenger.

CTTC has interrogated the accused of the case Mafizur during a two-day remand. According to the case statement, Mafizur spread false information through social media. Later on, he sent that information to Pinaki Bhattacharya, Mushfiqul Fazal Ansari and others who are living abroad. Those were spread throughout social media. Mofizur Rahman and others have put the reputation of law enforcement agencies under question risking the deterioration of law and order situation.

Sub-inspector of CTTC and the investigating officer of the case Mohammad Rahat Hossain told Prothom Alo that two mobile phones confiscated from Mafizur are undergoing forensic tests. It is also being investigated whether Mofizur sent those fake information and images to anybody other than Pinaki.

According to the case documents, Mofizur is from Khudukkhali village of Bashkhali in Chattogram. Two cases are filed against him in Motijheel police station of Dhaka.

Pinkai, who studied medicine, was a managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He has been staying abroad for several years. Pinaki often posts on social media criticizing various aspects of government.

It is alleged Pinaki has spread confusing information about the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangabandhu's family while staying abroad.

President of All European Awami League Nazrul Islam complained to the law enforcing agency of France last December against Pinaki.