Students, rights activists and civil society representatives yesterday demanded that the government arrest the Hefajat-e-Islam leaders who threatened eminent rights activist Sultana Kamal.
They also demanded abolishing section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act and immediately release those who were arrested under the provision.
According to section 57, if any person deliberately publishes any material in electronic form that causes deterioration of law and order, prejudices the image of the State or a person or causes to hurt religious belief, the offender faces jail term for a maximum of 14 years.
The demands were made at a rally organised by a student and civil society representatives' platform in front of the national museum in the capital's Shahbagh.
“No one was arrested so far for making the threat…and the government did not even condemn it,” said Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir.
“We won't accept it. The government should… arrest those who gave the threat,” said the noted rights activist.
Dhaka University Prof MM Akash alleged that the government came into a liaison with Hefajat for the upcoming national polls, but they [the government] will not get their votes.
He termed section 57 of the ICT act “a bizarre provision”.
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) General Secretary Liton Nandi condemned the recent arrest of BCU activist Chaina Patowary, a 17-year-old girl from Rangamati, under the provision 57 and demanded her immediate release.
Earlier on June 2, Hefajat leaders from a rally in front of Baitul Mukarram gave an ultimatum to the government to arrest Sultana Kamal within 24 hours or send her into exile. Hefajat's threat came after a recent television talk show, now available on YouTube.
Hosted by DU teacher Robaet Ferdous, the programme was participated by Sultana Kamal, Hefajat leader Mufti Shakhawat Hossain, Gonojagoron Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker, and former Awami League lawmaker Apu Ukil.
At the talk show, referring to the statue of Lady Justice on the Supreme Court premises, Shakhawat said there should be no religious structures on the court premises, Sultana told The Daily Star. "I said, yes, I agree with you. There should be no religious structures on the court premises. Not even mosques," she said.