Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman sued under Digital Security Act

Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and reporter Samsuzzaman Shams

Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman has been sued under the Digital Security Act. Reporter Samsuzzaman Shams, an ‘assistant cameraman’ and unnamed others were also made accused in the case filed with Ramna Police Station.

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A lawyer named Abdul Malek (Mashiur Malek) filed the case. Prothom Alo was confirmed of the development at around 1:30am on Thursday. Later, the daily talked with the plaintiff Abdul Malek, who claimed himself to be a High Court lawyer. He told Prothom Alo, “I filed a first information report (FIR). Don’t know if it (case) has been filed. They (police) have contacted different places. You know how it is with the police."

Ramna police station’s inspector Abu Ansar has been given responsibility of investigating the case.

Ramna police did not want to provide any information on the case. Two reporters of Prothom Alo went to the police station at around 12:30, but failed to enter the station despite trying for one and a half hours. Some more journalists of different news media, who were outside the police station at that time, were also not allowed to enter. It seemed that many people were inside the police station other than the policemen.

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Abul Hasan, officer in charge of Ramna police station, left the premises hurriedly at 1:30am. Journalists tried to talk to him but he left without stopping the car.

Later a journalist was allowed to enter the premises of the police station. A Prothom Alo reporter approached on-duty sub inspector (duty officer) Habibur Rahman to know about the case and asked for the copy of FIR. He replied, “Come tomorrow (Thursday) morning. I don’t have the copy now. Collect it in any other way.”

Earlier on Wednesday, a case was filed against Prothom Alo journalist Samsuzzaman under Digital Security Act.

A certain Syed Md Golam Kirbria, 36, filed the case with capital’s Tejgon police station.

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According to information available on the Facebook page of Syed Md Golam Kirbria, he is the general secretary of Jubo League’s Dhaka City North ward 11 unit and a former member of the central committee of Bangladesh Chhattra League.

In the case, he alleged that a report published in Prothom Alo on Independence Day puts the achievements of Bangladesh in question, tarnishes the image of the government, and creates a possibility of deteriorating law and order situation in the country. That is why, the plaintiff has felt aggrieved and filed the lawsuit, according to the case statement.

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Several plainclothesmen identifying themselves as members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) picked up Samsuzzaman from his house in Savar near Jahangirnagar University early Wednesday morning.

His whereabouts was unknown as of 10:00pm on Wednesday, after 18 hours of being picked up. Law enforcers did not acknowledge his arrest or detention till then.