A reporter of the Bangla daily Jugantor was arrested in Keraniganj on Tuesday, hours after a case was filed against him and four other reporters of the newspaper under the controversial Digital Security Act.
Abu Zafar is the Keraniganj correspondent of the newspaper.
The other accused are Nawabganj correspondent Azharul Islam, Ashulia correspondent Mehedi Hasan Mithu, Dhamrai correspondent Shamim Khan and Gopalganj correspondent SM Humayun Kabir.
Palash Mia, organising secretary of the Nawabganj Upazila unit Swechchhasebak League, filed the case with Dohar Police Station following a report in the newspaper on “the luxurious house of Nawabganj Police Station OC Mostafa Kamal” on Tuesday.
In the case statement, Palash said the report mentioned that he demolished a house of one Mohiuddin in Bordhonpur area in 2018 which is completely untrue.
He mentioned that the five reporters in collusion with each other published the report incorporating false and fabricated information to demean him and create instability in the country through publishing the report against him and the OC.
The reporters committed a crime under the Digital Security Act, court sources said, citing the statement.
Yesterday, Zafar gave his statement before a magistrate.
A family member of Zafar told The Daily Star, “Zafar was traceless and his phone was switched off since 4:00pm on Tuesday… Our family came to know about the case and his arrest around 2:30am today.”
Masud Karim, chief reporter of the Jugantor, said the journalist communities' fear of misuse of the Digital Security Act has been proven to be true through the arrest.
“Police could have conducted a proper investigation before the arrest,” he said, demanding intervention of the information and law ministers.
He also demanded unconditional withdrawal of the case.
Sazzad Hossain, officer-in-charge of Dohar Police Station, said the accused attempted to deteriorate the law and order situation and tarnish the image of police through publishing false and untrue information.
Police are trying to arrest the other accused, he added.