Police arrest journalist Shafik Rehman in case over 'conspiracy to abduct' Joy

শনিবার, ১৬ এপ্রিল ২০১৬
16 April 2016 Police have arrested journalist Shafik Rehman in a case filed over a ‘conspiracy to abduct and murder' Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy.

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Rehman was picked up by Detective Branch officials from his home at Dhaka's Eskaton on Saturday morning.

Later in the afternoon, he was presented before a Dhaka court which allow police a five-day remand to question Rehman.

His wife Taleya Rehman told bdnews24.com that three men claiming to be police detectives came to their home around 7:30am.

“They entered our house and said Shafik will have to go with them. Then they took him away," she said.

Taleya is the executive director of NGO 'Democracy Watch' and a former BBC journalist.

Rehman was taken to the DB office in the city’s Minto Road, only to be presented in court later.

Following Taleya’s claim, bdnews24.com contacted Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Joint Commissioner Krishna Pada Ray around 10am, who said he had 'no knowledge of any such incident'.

Half an hour later, DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media) Maruf Hossain Sardar told bdnews24.com, “Shafik Rehman has been arrested in a sedition case filed in 2015 at Paltan Police Station.”

However, the case details showed it was lodged on Aug 4 last year over the ‘conspiracy to abduct and murder’ Joy.

The prime accused in case is the BNP’s US unit leader Mohammad Ullah Mamun.

Police had filed the case after the conviction of his son Rizve Ahmed Caesar by an US court for bribing a former FBI official to reportedly gather information on Joy as part of the plot.

“Shafik Rehman had gone abroad in 2013. We have found evidence that he had contact with those conspirators at that time,” said Sardar.

Caesar was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in March last year for bribing former FBI Special Agent Robert Lustyik.

Caesar had pleaded guilty to bribing Lustyik for confidential information to locate and harm his political rival and others associated with the intended victim, according to a US Justice Department statement.

Although the Justice Department records kept the identity of the intended victim a secret, the ruling Awami League claimed that it was Joy.

Joy also had accused BNP leaders of conspiring to ‘abduct and kill him’ on a Facebook post.

At Eskaton, Democracy Watch's office is on the two-storied building on the front side of the residential compound. Rehman and his family live on the top floor of the three-storey building at the back.

Taleya Rehman told reporters that the three men had identified themselves as reporters from private TV channel Boishakhi and they were there to take an interview of the journalist.

“They had no appointment and were carrying a digital camera only, which made me a bit suspicious,” she said. However, they were told to wait at Democracy Watch’s office.

Taleya said after waiting for a while for Rehman, the men approached the building the family lives in.

Their security guard Matin Molla said one of three had handed him a visiting card and asked him to give it to Rehman.

“After seeing it, Sir (Rehman) told me to give it to Madam (Taleya). As I was returning from the second floor, I saw Sir coming down and the three men coming up. They took the card back announcing they are from DB.

“Then they whisked Shafik sir away in the microbus parked in front of the house,” Molla said.

Sajib Onasis, assistant editor of weekly ‘Mouchake Dhil’, which is also edited by Rehman, told reporters that Taleya received a call from the DB office around 11am. She was told to take food and medicines for Rehman.

Sajib claimed the same three men had also come two days ago saying they wanted to interview Rehman. But they did not get to meet him that day.

After being informed of her husband’s arrest in the sedition case, Taleya was seen contacting friends and colleagues for next course of action.

The BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi went to Rehman’s house around 11am.

He asked Taleya Rehman not to worry too much. “We’ve already informed the British high commissioner about this.”

Shafik Rehman had taken British citizenship while working in the UK for a long time.

In its reaction to Rehman’s arrest, the BNP on Saturday protested and condemned police’s action and claimed the journalist was arrested for writing against the government’s failures.

The journalist, known to be close to the BNP, has worked in various media houses, but hit the limelight after becoming editor of weekly Jaijaidin in the 1980s.

Rehman had to leave Bangladesh facing the wrath of then military dictator HM Ershad but returned home after Ershad was dethroned.

A decade later, the journalist established close relationship with the BNP and was seen at events addressed by BNP chief Khaleda Zia.

Rehman, who has also worked in BBC, launched Daily Jaijaidin, but sold the newspaper in 2006 after a brief foray into the market.

He currently produces and anchors a TV programme named 'Lal Golap' (Red Rose)

সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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