Police Quiz Mahmudur at Jail Gate
Friday, 04 June 2010

Police have questioned recently closed Amar Desh newspaper's acting editor Mahmudur Rahman at the jail gate for just over half an hour in a case accusing him of assault on police.

Tejgaon police sub-inspector Rezaul Islam questioned him from 12:55pm until 1:28pm on Thursday.

Police did not divulge the details of the interrogation for the sake of investigation.

The case was filed early on Wednesday.

Mahmudur along with deputy editor and chief correspondent Syed Abdal Ahmed, reporters Sanjeeb Chowdhury, Jahed Chowdhury, Alauddin Arif, peon Saiful and another 100 unidentified people were made the defendants in the case.

A magistrate's court later on that day sent him to jail and asked police to question him at the jail gate by the next three days. It dismissed the police request to remand Mahmudur in custody for five days on the charges.

Mahmudur however secured bail from the court in another case filed by the closed BNP-leaning Bengali-language newspaper's publisher on Tuesday night, charging him with fraud.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Appellate Division ordered Mahmudur, publisher Hashmat Ali Hashu and three others to appear in court on July 5 in relation to a contempt of court petition.

Police early on Wednesday morning, hours after the government closed the BNP-leaning daily, stormed the newspaper office and arrested Mahmudur on fraud charges levelled by its publisher Hashmat Ali Hashu. Earlier on Tuesday night, the government closed Amar Desh and sealed off its press.

They later filed a case against Mahmudur and other journalists of the newspaper on charges of assault on police officials and obstruction of duty.


Mahmudur's lawyers including Masud Ahmed Talukder and Sanaullah Miah told the court that sections of the fraud and defamation suits permitted bail.

So, the assault on police case was filed intentionally to put him behind bars since the charges in this case were not bailable, the defendant's lawyers argued.

They said neither Mahmudur nor his people obstructed the police much less assaulting them. He was arrested to gag the press and stifle the right of freedom of speech.

Shah Alam Talukder, additional public prosecutor of the Metropolitan Sessions Judges' Court, Khandaker Abdul Mannan and other pro-Awami League lawyers opposed the bail petition.

The prosecution counsels said Hashmat had applied to withdraw himself as publisher on Oct 11 last year. The district commissioner gave orders on Oct 26 to that effect but Mahmudur was illegally using publisher Hashu's name in the printer's line to save his skin.

Tejgaon Police sub-inspector Mohammed Shafiqul filed the assault case early in the morning. Tejgaon police chief Farman Ali told bdnews24.com that the suspects were charged with beating up police officials and obstructing them from doing their job.

Police early on Wednesday morning stormed the Amar Desh newspaper office and arrested Mahmudur, hours after the government closed the BNP-leaning daily.

Mahmudur was the energy adviser to ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia and executive chairman of the Board of Investment during the BNP-led government.

He took over the management of the newspaper in 2008. Later he sent a letter to the deputy commissioner for serving the paper as the editor and had been the acting editor of the newspaper since.

Before that, Hashu, the brother of Mosaddak Ali Falu, former political secretary to ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia, used to publish the daily.

Source: bdnews24.com

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