Secretary of rights body Odhikar Adilur Rahman Khan and director ASM Nasiruddin Elan were indicted in a case filed for publishing a “false report” on May 6 crackdown on Hefajat-e Islam in the capital’s Motijheel area.
After framing charges against the two, Judge KM Shamsul Alam of the Cyber Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka fixed January 22 for starting trial of the case.
Khan and Elan, now on High Court bail, pleaded themselves innocent and demanded justice after the charges were read out to them.
The Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested Khan from Gulshan on August 10, 2013 shortly after DB Inspector Ashraful Islam filed a general diary with Gulshan Police Station complaining that Odhikar published a false report that tarnished the image of the state, the government and law enforcement agencies.
On June 10 last year, Odhikar published online a report titled, “Assembly of Hefazate Islam Bangladesh and Human Rights Violation”.
The rights body claimed that 61 people, not 13 as estimated by the government, died in the early hours of May 6, when law enforcers flushed several thousand Hefajat activists out of Shapla Chattar in Motijheel.
They have been charged under Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act, 2006 and the Penal Code.
If found guilty, they might face up to 14 years in jail or Tk 1 crore fine under the act and seven years’ jail term under the Penal Code.