Hindu activist Rakesh Roy sentenced to 7 years of jail over ‘blasphemy’ case; Roy says he was framed

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On January 3, 2023, a former chief of a Hindu group was sentenced to jail for seven years over an alleged ‘blasphemous’ Facebook submit that surfaced in 2017.

Rakesh Roy, a Bangladeshi Hindu and organising secretary of Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote (BJHM), was sentenced to jail for a stringent seven-year jail time period by Sylhet Cyber Tribunal decide Abu Kashem. A nice of one lakh Taka has additionally been imposed on him.

An Islamic extremist Ahmed Fujayel lodged a case in opposition to Rakesh Roy on June 5, 2017, that led to the arrest of Roy on June 7 underneath part 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act (ICT), 2006, now often known as the ‘Digital Security Act’, at Zakiganj Police Station.

Rakesh Roy mentioned a person named Abdul Aziz was working to convert the Hindus of Zakiganj. He protested in opposition to the transfer which led to a vested group making a faux ID underneath his title on Facebook making the derogatory feedback

Fujayel Ahmed, in his criticism, made allegations that Rakesh Roy, a Bangladeshi Hindu, had insulted Prophet Muhammad in a Facebook submit.

Back in 2017, throughout a press convention, Sylhet’s Additional Superintendent of Police, Suggayan Chakma, acknowledged that Roy was arrested from Lalakhal in Jaintiapur upazila.

SP Chakma had mentioned {that a} screenshot of Rakesh Roy’s ‘objectionable’ Facebook submit ‘insulting’ Muhammad had been shared broadly on-line. This led to demonstrations in Zakiganj urging Roy’s arrest.

Rakesh Roy denied the allegations and added that an objectionable submit was posted from the faux account created in his title.

Roy mentioned that Abdul Aziz was making an attempt to convert Zaikganj Hindus. He objected to his motion, which provoked a miscreant group to create a false Facebook account in his title and submit offensive posts to body him in a false case of blasphemy.

Unhappy with the judgement, Rakesh Roy’s counsel Ishtiaq Ahmed Chaudhary mentioned he would enchantment to a better court docket.

It can also be vital to observe that in 2017, a Bangladeshi American named Sitangshu Guha initiated a petition (now closed) to Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina looking for the discharge of Rakesh Roy.

In a petition initiated by Guha, he claimed that Roy, who belonged to a Krishok League and Jatiyo Hindu Oikko Mahajot, was actively working to defend Hindu rights in opposition to the “vehement provocation” by an extremist named Abdul Aziz. He added that after Abdul Aziz’s arrest, a conspiracy was shaped to body Roy in a false blasphemy case.

The petition additionally emphasised the misuse of part 57 of the ICT Act to oppress minority communities. The petition additionally claimed that Islamists steadily unfold rumours to incite hatred in the direction of Hindus and different minority communities earlier than locking them up in violation of part 57 of the ICT Act. The final agenda of the ICT Act’s misuse is to oust Hindus from their ancestral houses.

Section 57 of the ICT Act has been broadly criticised and even known as draconian. According to Section 57 of the ICT Act, anyone who publishes false, obscene, or defamatory, tends to deprave and corrupt its viewers, causes or might trigger “deterioration in law and order,” hurt the status of the state or an individual, or “causes or may cause hurt to religious belief” by content material in digital type was subjected to punishment.

The Act was broadly used in opposition to the individuals criticising the Government and politicians in addition to used in opposition to minority communities. Violating Section 57 was one of the 5 controversial parts of the ICT Act that the Government selected to withdraw in 2018. This was changed by Digital Security Act (DSA) which got here into power in October 2018. But, DSA included these sections with even heavier sanctions.



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