Digital Security Act: RU teacher held over FB posts

Police yesterday arrested a Rajshahi University teacher under the Digital Security Act for making “defamatory” comments about Awami League’s deceased presidium member Mohammed Nasim.

Meanwhile, a lecturer of Begum Rokeya University (BRU) in Rangpur, who was also arrested under the DSA for making derogatory remarks about Nasim on Facebook, was suspended by the university authorities, said a BRU press release issued on Wednesday night.

Around 2:00am yesterday, Kazi Zahidur Rahman, assistant professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of RU, was arrested from campus quarters, said Golam Ruhul Kuddus, additional deputy commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.

Zahidur, who is also assistant provost of Madar Bux hall of the university, was arrested in connection with a case filed under Sections 25, 29 and 31 of the DSA, he said.

Tapos Kumar Saha, a lawyer, filed the case with Motihar Police Station on Wednesday night.

According to the case statement, Zahidur criticised former health minister Mohammed Nasim in two Facebook posts on June 1 and 2, with intentions to “defame” Nasim and “hurt public sentiment”.

At that time, the veteran political leader was fighting for his life in hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

ADC Kuddus said the RU teacher did not mention anyone’s name in the Facebook comments, but the plaintiff claimed that the comments were against Nasim as he shared a news report from Channel i Online on Nasim’s health condition and commented that public opinion over the news should be brought under government notice.

The arrestee, Zahidur, was also former information and research affairs secretary in Narail district. After his Facebook posts, his primary membership of the party was revoked on June 16.

Meanwhile, BRU lecturer Sirajam Munira’s suspension has been effective since her arrest on June 14.

Sirajam is now in Rangpur jail.

The BRU press release said that under the order of Professor Dr Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, vice-chancellor of BRU, the suspension letter was prepared and signed by the university registrar Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal.

It added that Sirajam was suspended for violating university discipline.

Sirajam Munira, lecturer of the Bangla department, made an insulting comment about Nasim on Facebook after the formal health minister’s death.

Later, the university registrar sued her under the DSA.

(Our correspondents from Rajshahi and Dinajpur contributed to this report.)

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