The High Court on Tuesday granted six-month’s bail to former minister Abdul Latif Siddique in seven cases filed against him for hurting religious sentiment of Muslims by making derogatory remarks on Islam and Hajj.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nizamul Huq and Justice Farid Ahmed also issued separate rules asking the government why the proceedings of the cases should not be scrapped. The HC bench also stayed the trial proceedings of the cases till the disposal of the rules.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, counsel for the petitioner, told reporters that his client secured bail in seven cases, but he would not get release from the jail as he is still accused in at least 21 other cases. The cases were filed against him with divisional courts outside Dhaka, Barua added. Latif Siddique is now under treatment at the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
On November 25, last year, a Dhaka court sent the sacked minister to jail as he was wanted in the cases. Earlier, he surrendered to the police, two days after returning to Dhaka from Kolkata.
Latif was implicated in 22 cases filed against him in 18 districts, for offending religious sentiment. There were multiple arrest warrants against him.
On September 28 last year, Latif Siddiqui made derogatory remarks on Islam and Hajj at a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail in New York.
Meanwhile, Hefazat-e Islam on Wednesday threatened to call a non-stop countrywide hartal from the day sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique is released from the prison.
Rahim Kahsemi, senior vice president of Brahmanbaria district unit Hefazat-e-Islam, came up with the threat at a rally protesting Tuesday’s High Court bail for Siddique in seven cases filed against him for hurting religious sentiments of Muslims by making derogatory remarks on Islam and Hajj.
He said, “The government gave bail to Latif Siddique to please Indian Priem Minister Norendra Modi. We will call hartal right from the day Latif Siddique is released from jail.”
Among others, other senior district leaders of the organisation including Mawlana Rumon Habibi, Mufti Abul Wahab, and Maolana Abdul Haque, were present at the rally.
Although Siddique secured HC bail in seven cases, he would not be released from the jail as he is still accused in at least 21 other cases. The cases were filed against him with divisional courts outside Dhaka.