Bangladesh Police arrested a 60-year-old woman under the Special Powers Act allegedly after her US-based son made a Facebook post about the trial process of late war crime convict Delwar Hossain Sayedee and the disappearance of his prosecution-turned defence witness Shukhoranjan Bali.
Alamgir Shikdar, the woman’s husband, has asserted that his wife holds no affiliations with any political party. He further highlighted that their younger son, Tanjilur Rahman, is currently pursuing his PhD in the United States and is a former student of BUET.
Tanzilur Rahman, a PhD candidate specialising in materials science and engineering at Michigan State University in the United States, spoke with journalists, revealing that his mother, Anisha Siddika, had been apprehended by the police due to his Facebook post.
His family said the police produced her and two others arrested along with Anisha before the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Khulna on Monday, and they were sent to jail later. Tanzilur said that he wrote a post about the presence of Shukhoranjan Bali during the funeral prayer for Sayedee, and the post was widely shared.
Human Rights Watch in 2013 said that Bangladeshi national Shukhoranjan Bali was abducted by the Bangladeshi police from the entrance to the International Crimes Tribunal courthouse, detained in Bangladesh, and then forced by Bangladeshi security forces across the border into India, where he claimed he was detained and tortured by the ‘notorious’ Border Security Force before being held in Kolkata’s Dum Dum jail.
Following his widely shared post, Tanzilur said that “Police, along with local Awami League and its affiliated body Jubo League activists, stormed into my grandparents’ house in Boyra on Sunday. They ransacked and looted two laptops and cash from the house. Police arrested my mother when she protested. Police also arrested two tenants who came forward to help them.”
Juba League’s Khulna city unit president, Shafikul Islam Palash, denied his party members’ involvement in looting or attacking anyone, claiming that only a former Juba League man was present with the local police.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Khalishpur police station of the city, Monirul Gias, told journalist that the house in Khalishpur was raided based on the news that there was a secret anti-state meeting.
At this time, three people including one woman were arrested. There was no relation between the Facebook status on Sayedee and the drive. A case has been filed against them under the Special Powers Act.
The OC claimed that they had seized religious books, magazines, three laptops, and four mobile phone sets used for ‘sabotage’. It said they carried out the raid based on specific information. Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence given to Islamist leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi to life imprisonment.
The country’s war crimes tribunal sentenced Sayeedi to death in February 2013 for
crimes against humanity.