Court frames charges against photojournalist Kajol in 3 DSA cases

Shafiqul Islam Kajol

A Dhaka tribunal today framed charges against photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol in three cases filed under the Digital Security Act.

Kajol, now on bail, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after Judge Mohammad Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of Dhaka Cyber Tribunal read out the charges to him, Shamim Al Mamun, bench assistant of the tribunal, told The Daily Star.

Earlier in the day, the judge rejected three separate petitions submitted for discharging him from the cases.

The tribunal also fixed January 2 for starting the trial.

Awami League lawmaker (Magura-1) Saifuzzaman Shikhor, Jubo Mahila League's central committee members Usmin Ara Bally and Sumaiya Chowdhury Bonya filed three separate cases with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar police stations under the DSA on March 9, 10 and 11 last year.

Investigation Officer Mohammad Russell Mollah, also a Sub-Inspector of Detective Branch of police, submitted three charge sheets of the cases to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka on April 8, February 4 and March 14 this year respectively.

Kajol was charged with circulating indecent, defamatory, objectionable, and fake information about some ministers, lawmakers, and top Jubo Mahila League leaders on Facebook in the cases.

He went missing on March 10 last year. The Border Guard Bangladesh found him roaming around the Benapole border area on May 3 and detained him. He was sent to jail by a Jashore court the same day under section 54 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Later, he was shown arrested in the three cases filed under the DSA.

The lower court denied him bail for seven months until the High Court on November 24 granted him bail in one of the cases. The HC on December 17 granted him bail in two other cases after Kajol's lawyer argued that probes had to be complete within 75 days of filing of the cases, and the investigators failed to do so.

The photojournalist walked out of jail on bail on December 25.


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