Suranjit Sengupta welcomes journalist Probir Sikdar’s release on bail

Suranjit Sengupta welcomes journalist Probir Sikdar’s release on bail

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Senior Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta has welcomed the release of journalist Probir Sikdar on bail, saying the government has at last come to its senses.”I believe the case should be withdrawn immediately,” he told a discussion in Dhaka on Wednesday.Sikdar was arrested on Sunday night in a case filed under the ICT Act for ‘defaming’ LGRD Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain in a Facebook post.His detention triggered howls of protests and condemnation in the social media and from rights groups at home and abroad.Hossain, an MP from Faridpur, is the father-in-law to the daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Rights activists said the arrest was ‘misuse’ of the Act.Sikdar was sent on a three-day police remand on Monday but a day later, the senior journalist was granted bail on Wednesday.Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu lamented Sikdar’s arrest while Sengupta berated the move as rights bodies flayed the government.Sengupta said Minister Hossain, a top BUET student, was in charge of an important ministry and that journalist Probir Sikdar, who lost his family in the Liberation War, cannot be his opponent.”The matter should have been resolved politically,” he added.Sikdar alleged that police had refused to register his complaint after he was threatened for his writings.
In a Facebook post on Aug 10, he blamed Minister Hossain, controversial business tycoon Moosa Bin Shamser and war criminal Bachchu Razakar for the alleged threat to his life.Shamser is related to Awami League Presidium Member and the prime minister’s cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP, through marriage.Awami League Advisory Council Member Sengputa hoped the truth would come out someday.He advised the government to be more tolerant.
“There will be criticism… The government should be more patient,” he added.

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