The former caretaker government adviser has been arrested in the seventh defamation case filed against him
Barrister Mainul Hosein, who is at the centre of a firestorm of criticism for verbally abusing a female journalist on air, has been arrested.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) Detective Branch (DB) Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that Moinul was arrested around 10pm on Monday.
A former adviser to the last military-controlled caretaker government, Mainul was picked up a DB team from the residence of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rab) President ASM Abdul Rab in the capital’s Uttara, Mahbub said.
Mainul was later taken to the DB office in the capital’s Minto Road.
He added that Mainul was arrested in a defamation case filed in Rangpur over his verbal abuse of journalist Masuda Bhatti during a talk show aired on October 16 on private channel Ekattor TV.
Over the past two days, the former MP was also accused in six other defamation cases filed at local courts in Dhaka, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Brahmanbaria, Bhola and Comilla.
Also Read- Cases against Barrister Mainul pile up
On Sunday, he secured advance bail from the High Court in the three cases that were filed in Dhaka, Jamalpur and Kurigram the same day.
The case in Rangpur was filed at the court of Additional Chef Judicial Magistrate Arifa Yasmin Mukta by human rights activist Mili Maya on Monday afternoon.
The court, after recording the plaintiff’s statement, issued an arrest warrant against Mainul, Pulic Prosecutor Abdul Malik said.
Mainul has been facing a firestorm of anger and criticism on both social and mass media since October 16 night, when he called journalist Masuda Bhatti “characterless” on Ekattor Journal, a talk show which was aired live on private channel Ekattor TV.
He also hurled other abusive words at the female journalist, while shouting and telling her to ask questions like an “educated and gentle woman.”
Mainul’s verbal attack on Masuda started right after she said that many were calling him the Jamaat-e-Islami representative in Jatiya Oikya Front, as he recently attended an Islami Chhatra Shibir program, and asked whether it was true.
Three more defamation cases were filed against Mainul in Brahmanbaria, Bhola and Comilla on Monday.
The case in Brahmanbaria’s Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court was filed by Ayesha Ahmed Liza, the district correspondent of The Daily Observer newspaper.
Judge Farzana Ahmed, after taking the charges into cognisance, also issued a warrant for Mainul’s arrest, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Sarwar-e-Alam.
In Bhola, the district’s Jubo Mahila League Convener Khadiza Akhter Swapna filed the defamation suit against Mainul, seeking Tk50-crore in damages.
The judge of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, Sharif Md Sanaul Haque, accepted the case and ordered a judicial probe into the allegations. The court also ordered the authorities concerned to submit the probe report on October 31.
The defamation case in Comilla against Mainul Hosein was filed by a lawyer named Subir Nandi with the district’s Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court on Sunday afternoon.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Md Sohel Rana took the charges into cognisance on Monday and then set December 23 as the next hearing date.
Five people, including Masuda Bhatti, were named as witnesses.
Mainul Hosein has played an active role in the formation of new alliance Jatiya Oikya Front, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, which also has BNP as a major element apart from JSD-Rab and Nagorik Oikya.
On Saturday, 55 editors and senior journalists from both print and electronic media also demanded apology from Mainul for his abusive behaviour against Masuda.
In a statement, they said that no one had the right to call anyone “characterless” when faced with a legitimate journalistic query.