Odhikar had claimed it collected the names of 61 people killed when law enforcers cracked down on a Hefazat-e-Islam rally in Motijheel on May 5, 2013
The formal trial has started in the case filed against the human rights advocacy organization Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and its Director AKM Nasiruddin Elan for providing distorted statistics regarding the crackdown on Hefazat-e-Islam activists at Motijheel on May 5, 2013.
The trial began with the deposition of prosecution witnesses.
Dhaka Cyber Tribunal Judge Md As-Shams Jaglul Hossain on Tuesday recorded the testimony of Inspector Ashraful Islam of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police and the complainant in the case.
After his deposition, defence lawyer Md Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan started cross-examining Ashraful Islam.
Earlier, the tribunal on January 8, 2014, framed charges against the two accused in the case.
On May 5, 2013 law enforcers, in a late night drive, evicted Hefazat-e-Islam members from the Shapla Chattar premises in the capital’s Motijheel area where they had organized a rally.
In this connection, Odhikar on June 10, 2013 published a report, titled “Assembly of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh and Human Rights Violations,” claiming that it had collected the names of 61 people killed during the “evacuation” by law enforcers at Shapla Chattar in the city’s Motijheel.
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On the day, the Information Ministry had written to Odhikar seeking the names and details of the 61 “deceased” persons as claimed in the report, but Odhikar declined to comply.
On September 4, 2013 police pressed charges against the accused before the court for publishing “fake, distorted and defamatory” information under Section 57 (1) (2) of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Act.
On September 11, 2013, the court took the charges into cognizance and issued an arrest warrant against Director AKM Nasiruddin Elan. He was sent to jail when he surrendered before the court.
On August 10, 2014 plainclothes police arrested Adilur Rahman Khan from near his Gulshan residence and a Dhaka court placed him on a five-day remand for interrogation, but the lower court order was stayed by the High Court and he was sent to jail.
Later the two accused obtained bail from the High Court. Adilur Rahman was deputy attorney-general during the rule of the four-party alliance government from 2001 to 2006.