A group of musicians have expressed their solidarity with the 'Where is Kajol?' movement, which has been demanding the release of Shafiqul Islam Kajol, a photojournalist who has been imprisoned in a case filed under the Digital Security Act. Several artistes performed and raised their voices to press home the demand in three days of a weeklong online programme, titled 'Kajoler Mukti Ebong Mukto Chinta'. The programme has been airing live from the movement's Facebook page, starting from July 21. The show, which will end on July 27, is organised by Kajol's son, Monorom Polok.
Attending the opening day, besides singing, Sina Hasan, vocalist of Bangla Five, said that many are being arrested over trivial matters, even though it is the state's duty to ensure every citizen's right to freedom of expression. Criticising the arrest of the journalist, he said that the incidents, which have taken place since the day of Kajol's disappearance, have raised concerns and questions. "Moreover, no clear statement from the government has been issued yet," he added. Rasheed Sharif Shoaib, guitarist of the popular band, Meghdol, said that any freethinking person would be concerned in such situations in the country. Artiste Shayan said that arresting innocent people in the name of the Digital Security Act must be stopped. "The act is being misused to scare the masses, so that no one dares to protest against injustice," she said.
Members of cultural organisation Samagit, the band Shohojia's vocalist Raju and the band Madol, among others, performed at the programme. The third episode of the show was held on July 24. F Minor, an all-female ethnic band of the country, performed on that day.
An online discussion was also held on July 25. Among others, Jahangirnagar University's Economics teacher Anu Muhammad, DU's International Relations teacher Md Tanzimuddin Khan and Sociology teacher Samina Luthfa, demanded the release of Kajol.
Students from different public universities also expressed their solidarity with the movement. The last episode of the programme is scheduled to be addressed by Journalist Golam Murtaza. Joler Gaan and Armeen Musa are set to perform in the programme tonight (July 26).
Polok, a student of Jagannath University, alleged that the Digital Security Act undermines the government's claim of not intending to restrict the right to freedom of speech. He demanded the cancellation of the act and the release of his father.
Polok said that his father was shown arrested in one of the three cases filed against him under the act. "Among the 32 individuals accused in the case, only my father was in jail for 52 days in Jessore," he said. "Later, he was shown arrested after 105 days, since the case was filed. Even the case's prime accused, the editor of Manabzamin, was bailed."
Kajol, the editor of the Daily Pokkhokal, was shown arrested under the Digital Security Act in Jessore on May 3 this year, after he was found at Benapole on the day, following his disappearance on March 10.