Jhuman, in jail for over six months, in a digital security has been denied bail several times by the lower courts
The High Court has fixed Thursday to deliver its order on the bail petition filed by Jhuman Das, 25, in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA) on the charge of defaming Hefazat-e-Islam leader Mamunul Haque on Facebook.
The High Court bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar Kajol on Tuesday fixed the date following a hearing on the petition filed on Das’s behalf by his mother Nibha Rani Das.
Jhuman Das has been behind bars without trial for more than six months, as his bail petitions have been rejected by the lower court several times, the petition said.
Senior lawyer ZI Khan Panna, who represented Das, told the court that Jhuman was a patriot, not a traitor, as he had spoken out against communal forces.
“When a patriot posts something on social media out of perturbation, it is not an offense under the DSA or any other act,” the lawyer told this newspaper.
“Police did not take action against those who vandalized houses and belongings of the Hindu community over the Facebook post, but they filed the DSA case against Jhuman,” Panna added.
He also pointed out that Das was kept in custody for a few days before first being produced before the court.
“Where was he at that time?” the lawyer asked.
According to a confession from Das, he spoke against the Hefazat leader as he had been disappointed with the communal remarks Mamunul had made at a waz mahfil.
Panna said the sermons Mamunul and other religious preachers delivered at the mahfil were disrespectful of religious minorities as well as women, and hence the religious leaders should face legal action.
The FIR of the case filed against Das and the confessional statement had no element which could be tried under the DSA act, the lawyer said.
Assistant Attorney General Md Mizanur Rahman did not place an argument during the hearing.
Das was arrested in Sylhet in March this year. According to the case details, former Hefazat joint secretary general Mamunul Haque spoke at a gathering in Sunamganj’s Derai upazila on March 15.
Disturbed by Mamunul’s speech, Das, from Noagaon village, posted a status critical of the Hefazat leader on Facebook on March 16.
The post prompted thousands of Mamunul's supporters from Kashipur, Nachni, Chandipur and other villages to storm Noagaon village with sticks and improvised weapons.
They ransacked Hindu homes and looted valuables as residents fled the village in fear, while accusing Das of hurting religious sentiments, according to the police.