‘My husband has been denied bail seven times, while the real perpetrators are roaming around fearlessly,’ complains Sweety Das, Jhuman’s wife
Rights and cultural activists have demanded the immediate release of Jhuman Das Prakash Apan, a youth from Sunamganj who has been languishing in jail for over six months.
The demand was voiced at a protest organized by Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi through cultural programs before the National Museum on Wednesday.
Jamshed Anwar Tapan, president of the cultural organization, urged the government to release Jhuman immediately and repeal the Digital Security Act, terming it unconstitutional.
Sweety Das, Jhuman Das’ wife, at the protest said that she had been going through tough times as her jailed husband was the only earning member of the family.
She urged the prime minister as well as the law minister to set her husband free.
“I am sick and helpless… I am being harassed,” Sweety Das said.
“My husband was not granted bail even after petitioning for it seven times, [while] the real perpetrators are roaming around fearlessly. What is my husband’s crime?” she questioned.
Meanwhile, writer Barrister Imtiaz Mahmood, who had been arrested in an ICT act case in 2019, said: “Those who bar us from speaking freely do not believe in independence.”
Calling for Jhuman’s immediate release, he demanded that the Digital Security Act be repealed.
Also Read - Jhuman Das moves High Court for bail in DSA case
Udichi Shilpi Gosthi Joint Secretary Sangeeta Imam, among others, also spoke at the protest.
Twenty-five-year-old Jhuman Das, arrested in Sylhet in March this year under the Digital Security Act in a case filed over his criticism of Hefazat-e-Islam leader Mamunul Haque on Facebook, has been in jail for nearly six and a half months.
He recently moved the High Court for bail in the case after the lower courts repeatedly rejected his bail petitions. The petition is pending with the High Court for a hearing.
According to the case details, former Hefazat joint secretary general Mamnul Haque spoke at a gathering in Sunamganj’s Derai upazila on March 15.
Enraged by Mamunul’s speech, Jhuman Das from Noagaon village posted a status on Facebook on March 16, criticizing Mamunul.
The post prompted Mamunul's supporters to bring out a procession in the area on March 16, accusing the Hindu man of hurting religious sentiments.
Jhuman was detained the same night in the case filed under the Digital Security Act by the police.
On March 17, thousands of followers of the Hefazat leader from Kashipur, Nachni, Chandipur and other villages inhabited by Muslims stormed Noagaon village with sticks and locally-made weapons.
They ransacked Hindu homes and looted valuables as residents fled the village in fear, according to the police.