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B`deshi student faces sedition charges over FB post

Last Updated: Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 22:58

Dhaka: Bangladeshi police on Sunday launched a process to charge a 21-year-old university student for sedition after he posted a comment on Facebook alleging Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s hand in the mysterious disappearance of an opposition politician.

"Sohel Mollah (the suspect) is now in jail as we initiated a process for his indictment on sedition charges for threatening the prime minister," police chief of northern Mymensingh Gola Kibria said.

He said the district police sent a letter to the Home Ministry seeking the government permission to press the chargesheet against Mollah for sedition charges as the law suggests that only the state could bring treason or sedition charges against any suspect.

Mollah, a second year student of Bengali literature of Poet Nazrul Islam University, allegedly posted the comment implicating Hasina with the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) organising secretary Ilias Ali`s disappearance two months ago.

"We arrested Mollah on the same day and now await the home ministry permission to for filing the chargesheet on sedition charges," Kibria said.
Mallah reportedly wrote in his post that "Ilias Ali would have been freed had he been caught by a jungle tiger. But this jungle tiger is Sheikh Hasina".

Officials and legal experts said if found guilty under sedition charges Molla could face a maximum life sentence.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun told a newspaper yesterday that Mollah would be charged with sedition and "whoever is found making such indecent and bad remarks against the prime minister will face the same consequences."
Mollah is the second student to be arrested over alleged postings on Facebook after police in January this year detained Al Nayeem Jubaer, 19, from his village west of Dhaka, for posting obscene remarks about Hasina`s father on the social networking site.

Bangladesh`s High Court earlier handed down six months of imprisonment to a university teacher for disregarding a summon in connection with a Facebook comment he posted earlier wishing Hasina`s death.

Police said the main case against Muhammad Ruhul Amin Khandaker was still pending as he was trying to stay back in Australia, from where he posted the comment last year.


First Published: Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 22:57

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