Bangladesh Cyber Crime Tribunal on Thursday framed charges against journalist Probir Sikdar for defaming the LGRD Minister on the social media and fixed October 6 to record the depositions of the witnesses. Prosecutor Nazrul Islam Shamim said the court turned down the defendant’s plea to drop charges against the journalist. Sikdar has been accused of slandering LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain through his post on Facebook.
Sikdar, son of a 1971 war martyr, publishes and edits two newspapers. Earlier, he also worked for national dailies the ‘Janakantha’, ‘Samakal’ and ‘Kaler Kantho’.
After allegedly being threatened over his Facebook posts, the journalist had tried to register a police complaint in Dhaka highlighting his insecurity.
On Aug 10 last year, Sikdar talked about police refusal to register the complaint in his Facebook post and blamed Minister Hossain for the threat to his life. His Facebook status, was titled ‘Those who are a threat to my life and will be responsible for my death’.
An assistant public prosecutor of Faridpur sued Sikdar for the libel under the ICT Act, and later, police picked him from his office at Dhaka’s Indira Road. He was taken to Faridpur the same day, where the court remanded him, but was released on bail within 24 hours. The court had also exempted Sikdar from attending the hearings.
On Mar 16 this year, police pressed charges in the Faridpur court, which forwarded the matter to the Cyber Tribunal.-