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Court acquits journalist Probir Sikdar of charges in ICT case

  • Published at 07:15 am September 9th, 2021
Photo shows Journalist Probir Sikdar in a Dhaka court on Thursday, September 9, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

An Awami League leader had sued Probir over a Facebook post ‘defaming’ former minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain

A Dhaka court has acquitted journalist Probir Sikdar in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology Act.

Judge Md Ash-Shams Jaglul Hossein of the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal on Thursday delivered the verdict in the case filed six years ago, which accused Probir of defaming the then LGRD minister and Faridpur MP Khandker Mosharraf Hossain in a Facebook post.

The court in its verdict mentioned that the plaintiff had no locus standi to file the case.

Reacting to the verdict, Probir Sikdar said that justice had prevailed. “I will fight against injustices till my last breath even if I am alone,” he added.

Expressing satisfaction over the judgement, defence counsel Aminul Ghani Titto said the prosecution had failed to prove any allegations made against his client.

Plainclothesmen had picked up Probir Sikdar, the editor of Daily Bangla 71 and the online news portal u71news.com, on August 16, 2015.

Also Read - Court defers verdict in journalist Probir Sikdar case again

Hours later, Faridpur Awami League leader Swapan Kumar Paul filed the case with Kotwali police over the Facebook post by Probir Sikdar under the ICT Act.

The senior journalist, known for his investigative reports on war criminals, had claimed in a Facebook post earlier on August 12 that several gangs had been kept ready in Dhaka and Faridpur “to teach me a good lesson”.

Two days later, he said that three persons and their supporters would be responsible if anything happened to him.

The three persons he named were the then LGRD minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, business tycoon Moosa Bin Shamsher and fugitive war crimes convict Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar.

His reports on Moosa, also known as Nula Moosa during the 1971 war, and Bachchu Razakar were published in Daily Janakantha in 2001 under a series of reports called “Shei Razakar” describing the status of those who had collaborated with Pakistani forces in 1971.

Also Read - Verdict in ICT case against journalist Probir Sikdar Wednesday

Following this, Probir came under attack by unknown miscreants, as a result of which his leg had to be amputated. He published the report on Moosa on his online portal u71news.com on July 17 and shared it on Facebook several times before his arrest.

In July the same year, he went to Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station to file a general diary seeking security. However, Inspector (Investigation) Sabbir Ahmed refused to accept the GD, saying that instead he would deploy a sub-inspector for his protection. Three days later, SI Abdul Jalil met Probir Sikdar at his Indira Road office.

Police pressed charges against the accused on March 15, 2016. The journalist was indicted on August 4 the same year.

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