Tension mounts as Latif Siddique freed on bail

Tension mounts as Latif Siddique freed on bail

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Over seven months after his arrest, sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique was freed from jail on bail on Monday.
Latif Siddique was released from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) prison cell around 5pm after his release order had reached the jail authorities, senior jail super of Dhaka Central Jail Forman Ali told UNB.
On December 6 last year, Minister Latif Siddique was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) from Dhaka Central Jail after he fell sick in the jail.
The High Court on June 23 granted bail to Latif Siddique in 10 cases filed in Dhaka, Chittagong, Laxmipur and Chapainawabganj districts for his disparaging remarks on hajj and Tablig Jamaat.
Besides, the court suspended all the proceedings of the 10 cases for six months, and issued a rule seeking explanation as to why the proceedings of the cases should not be cancelled.Earlier on May 25, the same HC bench granted bail to Latif Siddique in seven cases filed in Dhaka and Narayanganj for his disparaging remarks on hajj and Tablig Jamaat.
On September 28 last year, at a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail in New York, Latif Siddique made disparaging remarks about hajj, one of the main pillars of Islam, and Tablig Jamaat.
Latif Siddique had said: “During hajj, too much of manpower is wasted. Over 20 lakh people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj. They’ve no work, no production and they only cause deduction.”
“Some 20 lakh Tablig Jamaat people get together annually who don’t do any work except halting traffic movement across the country,” he added.
His remarks triggered widespread criticisms both at home and abroad.
Latif Siddique was dropped from the cabinet and expelled from Awami League for his derogatory comments.
He was shown arrested by the police on November 25 last year in one of the seven cases filed against him in Dhaka for his disparaging remarks on hajj and Tablig Jamaat.
The case was filed with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court by Advocate ANM Abed Raja, former president of Dhaka Metropolitan Bar Association.
Latif Siddique was sent to jail by Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Atiqur Rahman when police produced him before the court following his surrender at the Dhanmondi Police Station on November 25. – UNB

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