Star editor faces 6 more lawsuits
Six more cases were filed against The Daily Star editor in six districts yesterday while a judicial magistrate in Magura didn't take a defamation suit against Mahfuz Anam into cognisance.
Sohrab Hossain Sabuj, joint secretary of district unit Bangladesh Chhatra League, went to the court of Judicial Magistrate Imtiazul Islam in Magura to file a defamation suit against the Star editor.
The magistrate heard the complainant but didn't take the case into cognisance. He fixed March 8 for the next hearing.
Rashed Mahbub, counsel for the plaintiff, said his client wanted to file a libel suit with a compensation claim of Tk 50,000 crore against the Star editor, as the newspaper allegedly published a "report against Sheikh Hasina."
So far 75 lawsuits have been filed against Mahfuz Anam in 50 districts since February 9.
Of the cases, 17 involve pleas for bringing sedition charges against him, while the rest are defamation suits.
The case spree began days after the Star editor at a talk show on February 3 made an introspective comment about a lapse in his editorial judgement in publishing a few reports, based on information given by the Task Force Interrogation Cell during the 2007-08 tenure of the last caretaker government, without being able to verify those independently.
The lawsuits filed against the Star editor allege that the reports run by this newspaper led to the arrest of AL President Sheikh Hasina during the tenure of the last caretaker government.
Abdur Rezzak alias Suman, president of Nangolkot upazila BCL unit, yesterday filed a defamation suit with the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Razia Sultana against Mahfuz Anam.
The court took the case into cognisance and asked the district information officer to submit a report on March 24.
With this lawsuit, a total of five libel cases have been filed against the Star editor in the district in the last four days.
Md Altaf Hossain Rana, a freedom fighter and president of Gafargoan upazila unit of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, filed a defamation suit with the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate SM Razibul Hasan against Mahfuz Anam.
The complainant demanded compensation of Tk 10 crore.
The court took the case into cognisance and summoned the Star editor to appear before it on March 27, said Court Inspector Nowjesh Ali Mia.
Four cases have so far been lodged against Mahfuz Anam in the district.
Wahedur Rahman, president of Dighalia union AL, filed a plea with the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court, seeking to bring sedition charge against the Star editor.
The complainant also brought a defamation charge against Mahfuz Anam, demanding Tk 100 crore in compensation.
The court asked police to submit a report in this regard on March 16.
Syeda Shilpi Begum, wife of an AL activist, lodged a plea with the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court for bringing sedition charges against Mahfuz Anam.
The complainant also brought a defamation charge against the Star editor.
Shilpi, who claimed herself as an AL supporter, told journalists that she was advised by her husband to file a lawsuit against Mahfuz Anam.
She said her husband Syed Belal Hasan is an AL activist in the capital.
The court ordered the OC of Lalmonirhat Sadar Police Station to investigate the matter upon taking permission from government.
Advocate Siddiqur Rahman, treasurer of district AL and vice president of the district lawyer's association, filed a defamation suit with Madaripur Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against the Star editor, claiming Tk 10 crore in compensation.
The court took the case into cognisance and summoned Mahfuz Anam to appear before it on March 6.
Bijay Krishna Mallik, vice president of district Swechchhasebak league unit, filed a defamation suit with the Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court, claiming Tk 10 crore in compensation.
The court asked the officials concerned to probe the matter and file a report on March 30.