Sylhet court summons Mahfuz Anam

6 more defamation cases filed

Staff Correspondent

The Sylhet Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Sunday summoned the Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam in two defamation cases filed by local leaders of the ruling Awami League-backed student organisation Bangladesh Chhatra League.
Two more defamation cases were filed against Mahfuz in Khulna, one Rangamati and another in Dinajpur on the day for publishing reports based on ‘unconfirmed’ information supplied by a military intelligence agency on allegations of corruption against prime minister Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, during the military-backed interim regime in 2007-08.
A total of 12 such cases were filed so far against Mahfuz across the country since February 3, when in a television talk-show he admitted that he, along with all editors but New Age editor Nuruk Kabir, made a big journalistic mistake by publishing uncorroborated stories fed by the military intelligence during the military-backed emergency regime.
New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported that the city Chhatra League president Abdul Basit Rumman and its former president Rahath Tarafder filed two defamation suits claiming Tk 100 crore each in compensation.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Saifuzzaman Hiro took cognisance of the allegations after a hearing the cases and summoned Mahfuz to reply to the allegations.
The complainants alleged that Mahfuz intentionally published ‘false and distorted’ stories in his English daily to efface the Hasina from politics.
Runnan’s counsel Humayun Kabir Babul said that the court posted for March 6 the next hearing in his case.
Rahath’s lawyer Shamsul Islam, also additional public prosecutor, said that the court set March 30 for the next hearing in his case.
New Age correspondent in Khulna reported that two defamation suits were filed with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court against Mahfuz.
The cases were filed by Khulna district Chhatra League office secretary Md Taslim Hossain Taj claiming Tk 10 crore in compensation and its joint secretary Md Parvez Howlader claiming TK 5 crore in compensation.
Metropolitan magistrate Ayesha Akhtar Moushumi took cognisance of the Taslim’s case and asked Khulna police officer-in-charge to investigate the allegation.
The other case was filed with the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court.
New Age correspondent in Rangamati reported that Kaptai Juba League president M Nasir Uddin filed a deflation case against Mahfuz with the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court. The court asked the Kotwali police to investigate the allegation by March 31.
New Age correspondent in Dinajpur reported that lawyer Shamsur Rahman filed a deflation case against Mahfuz.
Earlier in the past week, six more cases had were filed with courts at places, including Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar, Khulna and Lakshmipur, by the leaders of AL and its front organisations against Mahfuz on the same ground.
A number of top politicians, including Sheikh Hasina and former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, also chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, were arrested on graft charges during the military-controlled emergency regime.
Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy demanded that Mahfuz should be tried for treason, which was echoed by several lawmakers in a parliament session following Mahfuz Anam’s admission of making mistakes in publishing reports on the information supplied by the military intelligence during the military-controlled interim government.

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