| Dhaka, Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Probir Sikder says "My wife didn’t call the minister for bail"

Update : 2015-08-20 12:52:34
Probir Sikder says

Journalist Probir Sikder who was freed on bail Wednesday, just a day after he was put on three-day remand, said he did not know how he got the bail.

He said his wife Anita Sikder did not call the local government, rural development and cooperatives minister, Khandker Mosharraf Hossain.

The minister called his wife to tell her that arrangement was being made to grant the bail, said Probir Sikder while talking to Prothom Alo about his release on Wednesday.

Probir said he still was feeling unsafe despite the bail, as the case was not withdrawn yet.

Asked how he got the bail, the journalist said, “I do not understand. I speak from my conscience. I don’t know under which section the case against me has been filed and I have not interest on knowing.”

“On my release,” he continued saying, “I came to know that the case was filed in the ICT Act which is non-bailable. I don’t know how I was given bail.”

“My wife didn’t call the minister for my bail. But she had talks with the minister. When I was sitting in the court in the morning, a police official took my wife away along with him and handed a phone over her requesting her to talk. Without introducing himself, a gentleman on the other end of the phone said, ‘How are you, bou ma (daughter-in-law) and how is Probir doing?’”

The journalist said her wife was told, “I have made the arrangement for bail. Don’t worry.”

In reply, Probir said, “My wife thanked him. And until then my wife was not sure who she was speaking with, but she thought that the gentleman might be someone influential as he assured her of granting bail.”

Probir said he was taken to jail after he was put on bail on Tuesday. “When I was brushing my teeth around 7:00am on Wednesday, I was told that police came from police station to take me. I told them that it is not possible for me to go before my bath.”

He continued saying, “I will have to remain with a single outfit for three days in remand and will get no scope to take a shower. As I was having a bath, they knocked on the door of the bathroom at least ten times to make me hurry and to go to the jail gate. I could not even shave my beard and take my breakfast.”

He said, “As I reached the jail gate, I found the investigating officer of my case, sub inspector Monir Hossain, sitting there. I said: ‘If you want to kill me, please kill me, but don’t torture me.’ Then SI Monir told me: “Your bail is being arranged.’ I didn’t trust his words as I knew how police behave before and after the arrest.”

Probir said, “I was not handcuffed today whereas they put handcuffs on both of my hands and legs in the last few days. I asked him [SI Monir] to shackle my hand. But he replied: ‘Just think that you have bail.’ I was put into the vehicle without handcuffs . They drove me to the office of Faridpur Kotwali police station officer-in-charge.”

“Then,” Probir went on saying, “Monir told me: ‘What will you do now, Dada?’ I said: ‘It is you who knows what to do.’ Monir said: ‘I have finished my job.’ I said: ‘How?’ he said: ‘I have finished my interrogation.’”

Probir said, “And then, they took me to the court where they themselves called in lawyers of both defenders and plaintiffs. My bail petition was then placed. The lawyers of the plaintiff told me: ‘Dada, please do not mind, all arrangements are being made [for bail]. You will get bail. We are telling the magistrate.’”

The journalist continued, “Later when I appeared before the court, I found them coming out of the room of the magistrate. Then my lawyers placed my bail petition and the court inspector did not raise objection and my bail was granted.”

As for his security, Probir Sikder said, “Who will ensure my security? The people have saved me this time. There were definitely interventions from the government high ups as well. I thank them. But I will remain indebted to the people. If they did take to streets, things would have been different. The case remains intact.”

He said he thinks that an ad-hoc solution was made to keep things under control by granting him bail and feared further harassment later on.

“I don’t think that my danger is over. This was done just to control the situation in the wake of strong reactions that came from both home and abroad and the role the media played. But I don’t consider myself safe as long as the case is not withdrawn,” he voiced his anxiousness.

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