Dhaka – Mainul Hosein, one of the leading figures in a newly formed opposition combine, has been landed in jail in a defamation case in line with a court order, officials said on Tuesday.
Hosein, a lawyer and owner of an English daily newspaper, was picked up on Monday night in Dhaka’s Uttara neighbourhood following an arrest warrant issued in a defamation case filed with police in the northern district of Rangpur.
Dhaka’s Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaisarul Islam rejected his bail and ordered to send him to jail as Hosein was produced before the court.
Hosein was criticized by a large number of people across Bangladesh after he called a female journalist ‘characterless’ at a television talk show on October 16 on contemporary political developments in Bangladesh.
He was asked whether he represents the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party in the newly formed alliance named Jatiya Okiya Front led by Kamal Hossain’s Gana Forum and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)of jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia. The lawyer expressed his anger during the show.
Hosein, who was also criticized for his actions during the military-backed caretaker government in 2007-08 when he was an adviser to the administration, was taken to the court in the noontime from the custody of detective branch.
The court heard the petitions moved for his bail and division in the jail, but was turned down, creating a chaos as BNP-loyal lawyers chanted slogans angered by the order.
Hosein’s arrest came hours after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a news conference in Dhaka, censured him for objectionable comments and alleged that he was an agent of the Pakistani forces during the Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war.
The Prime Minister also termed the newly-formed political combine as an alliance of “killers, corrupts and looters”.
A senior minister of Hasina’s cabinet justified the arrest saying the police picked him up based on specific allegation.
“There has been no political motivation in arresting him,” the minister, Obaidul Quader, who is also the general secretary of the Awami League party, told reporters.
Leaders of the opposition BNP have condemned the arrest terming it unprecedented. “Such an arrest in a defamation case is unprecedented,” said Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, spokesman of the BNP.