| Dhaka, Friday, 19 April 2024

A freethinking is free now

Update : 2015-08-20 11:20:09
A freethinking is free now

A day after placing senior journalist Probir Sikdar on a three-day remand, a Faridpur court yesterday granted him bail.

Interestingly, the prosecution didn't oppose his bail prayer at the First Cognisance Court of Faridpur. They said LGRD Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain had asked them to do so.

A couple of hours after the bail was granted, Probir walked out of Faridpur jail with a crutch around 1:45pm to receive a warm welcome from his family, well-wishers and a large number of locals.

He thanked everyone for raising voice for his release, said a correspondent who was present there.

The same court on Tuesday granted remand for the ailing journalist in a case for "tarnishing the image of Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain" though a Facebook post.

After producing Probir before Senior Judicial Magistrate Hamidul Islam's court around 11:00am, police said they no more needed to interrogate him.

Sub-Inspector Monir Hossain, also the investigation officer of the case, said they had already "gleaned sufficient information from the accused."

Then Probir's counsel Ali Ashraf Nannu submitted a bail petition. No lawyers of the plaintiff opposed the prayer as instructed by the minister, court sources said.

After hearing the petition, the court granted Probir, editor of Bangla daily Bangla 71 and online news portal u71news.com, an ad-interim bail till September 22 upon a bond of Tk 5,000.

After the release, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told The Daily Star: "He [Probir] is ill. As his wife over the phone sought cooperation from me, I asked the [plaintiff] lawyers not to oppose any bail petition, if filed."

Probir's wife Anita Sikdar, however, said she hadn't called the minister.

"After coming to court this morning, a man, possibly some minister, called me over the phone of a police officer, and said that he was working for my husband's release. I thanked him for that," she said, adding that she could not recognise the caller.

Probir's lawyer Nannu said, "During the hearing, we made the court convinced that he [Probir] wouldn't flee anywhere if the bail is granted, as he is a crippled man, a member of a martyred family, and an idealist journalist and teacher."

On Sunday evening, Probir was picked up from his office on the capital's Indira Road in a case filed with Faridpur Sadar police following one of his Facebook post.

Expressing fear for his life, Probir in the post said that the minister, controversial businessman Moosa bin Shamser and condemned fugitive war criminal Abul Kalam Azad would be responsible if he were killed.

Local Awami League leader Swapan Kumar Paul, also assistant public prosecutor of Faridpur Judge's Court, filed the case, saying the post "tarnished the image" of the minister.

The arrest created a huge stir among the people. Many labelled this incident as an abuse of power.

In 2001, Probir wrote a series of reports titled "Sei Razakar" in Bangla daily Janakantha against some alleged war criminals, including Moosa bin Shamser and war criminal Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Bachchu Razakar.

He was attacked in April that year following the reports. He lost a leg and also mobility of one hand in the attack.

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