Tarique faces arrest warrant on sedition charges

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LOOKEAST REPORT

A Bangladeshi court on Monday issued an arrest warrant against Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia’s London-based son Tarique Rahman in a sedition case for delivering a provocative speech and also two former journalists of private TV channel Ekushey Television (ETV).

Prosecutor Tapash Kumar Pal said the court that accepted the police chargesheet in the case.

The 2015 case was filed by police over ETV’s live telecast of Tarique’s speech at a programme in London on Jan 5 that year.

The court also directed officer-in-charge of Tejgaon Police Station to submit a report on the execution of the order by November 20. Prosecutor Pal said the court fixed Nov 20 for the indictment hearing.

Suspects threatened the country’s sovereignty and tried to incite hatred against a legally constituted government by broadcasting and uttering false and fabricated information. They had also tried to create a rift in the judiciary and internal conflicts within the army, border guards and police

Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of the Sessions Judges Court accepted the charge sheet in the sedition case.

The other two accused Mahathir Farooki Khan and Kanak Sarwar went into hiding after securing bail.

Ekushey TV’s former chairman Abdus Salam, also an accused in the case, is now on bail.

Police say the suspects threatened the country’s sovereignty and tried to incite hatred against a legally constituted government by broadcasting and uttering false and fabricated information.

They had also tried to create a rift in the judiciary and internal conflicts within the army, border guards and police, according to the case documents.

Rahman, who lives in London, is the eldest son of Begum Zia, two-times former prime minister.

Of the accused, Tarique and Mahathir Faruqiu Khan, the then chief reporter of ETV have remained absconding while former ETV chairman Abdus Salam is in jail and Kanak Sarwar, the then special correspondent of the private TV station, is on bail.

Abdus Salam committed the same offence by broadcasting Tarique Rahman’s ‘provocative’ speech on his television channel. The case statement also said the broadcasting of the Tarique’s speech posed a threat to the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

Abdus Salam was arrested from near the ETV office in the capital’s Karwan Bazar on January 6, 2015, in connection with another case.

Tarique Rahman has been in London since September 11, 2008 on medical grounds after securing parole in various cases.

Tarique is also facing other cases filed on different charges, including August 21 grenade attacks on Awami league rally in 2004 where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the main speaker.

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