Journalist Kajol was sued in a 2nd case the same day he went missing
08:18 PM, April 01, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:45 PM, April 01, 2020

Journalist Kajol was sued in a 2nd case the same day he went missing

Three weeks after journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol went missing, his family on Tuesday came to know that a second case was filed against him under Digital Security Act on March 10, the same day he went missing.

The case was filed with Hazaribagh Police Station at around 10:10pm on the day, about three hours after he went traceless.

Talking to The Daily Star, Kajol's son Monorom Palak said they received a call from Kalabagan Police on Tuesday, inquiring about the second case filed with Hazaribagh Police Station as his father's office is located in Hatirpool area.

Ekram Ali Mia, officer-in-charge of Hazaribagh Police Station, confirmed that a case was filed under the Digital Security Act on March 10.

"But I can't remember the case details now," the OC said.

The Amnesty International today said in a statement that such action raises further fears of an enforced disappearance, adding that they have obtained a copy of the second case that police have registered against Shafiqul Islam Kajol (50), a photographer and editor of the daily Dainik Pokkhokal.

According to the Amnesty statement, Usmin Ara Bailey, an Awami League activist, filed the case against Kajol accusing him of "extortion" by "obtaining information illegally" and publishing "false, intimidating and defamatory" information on Facebook and Messenger under sections 25, 26 and 29 of the Digital Security Act.

"The journalist's family is worried about his safety. States have a responsibility to protect lives of people and ensure that no one has to live through such uncertainty about their dear ones. Bangladesh authorities must immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Shafiqul Islam Kajol and release him if he is under State custody," said Saad Hammadi, South Asia campaigner at Amnesty International.

Kajol's disappearance came a day after Saifuzzaman Shikhor -- a ruling party lawmaker from Magura-1 -- filed a case against him and 31 others on charge of publishing a report with "false information" and circulating it on social media.

In the CCTV footage obtained by the rights body, it is seen that Kajol arrived on his motorbike at his newspaper office at Meher Tower in Dhaka's Hatirpool area at 4:14pm on March 10.

Several unidentified men can be seen keeping an eye on the motorbike, with three men separately approaching and appearing to tamper with it between 5:59pm and 6:05pm, Amnesty International said referring to the CCTV footage.

The journalist is seen leaving his office with another person at 6:19pm and walk past his motorbike. He then returns to it alone at 6:51pm and leaves the place. That is the last time anyone has seen or heard from him, the rights body added.

Last year, Bangladeshi rights body Odhikar documented at least 34 incidents of alleged enforced disappearances.

Eight of them were later found dead, 17 were shown arrested while the fate and whereabouts of the others remain unknown.

 

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