The High Court on Thursday granted bail to acclaimed photographer and social activist Shahidul Alam who was arbitrarily detained since August 5.
A case was filed him under the draconian Information and Communication Technology Act, 15 hours after he was picked up by the Detective Branch from his home.
He was denied bail time and again as three HC benches he had approached declined to hear his bail application.
The fourth bench of Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty finally heard him and granted bail.
The HC bench was surprised over the way Shahidul Alam was treated by keeping him inside the prison for over 100 days with the prosecutors still trying to keep him in jail.
The bench wanted to know if investigators had anything to reveal about the case since a long time had passed with them opposing his bail.
It also said that Facebook was flooded with likes on his remarks for which Shahidul Alam was arrested and made to suffer.
It said that many accused people were granted bail in far short time.
Lawyers Sara Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua argued for Shahidul Alam who became the global face of Bangladesh state repression with prominent personalities calling for his immediate release.
‘We are expecting to see Shahidul Alam out of jail any moment now,’ said Barrister Sara Hossain.
Rahnuma Ahmed, partner of Shahidul Alam, said she was happy to receive the good news at long last.
‘It reinstated my trust in judiciary,’ said Rahnuma.
But the government is taking preparations to appeal against the bail order on Sunday, deputy attorney general Fazlur Rahman Khan told New Age.
‘We will seek to stay the order,’ said Fazlu.
An earlier date for hearing the bail prayer was deferred on Wednesday on health ground of attorney general Mahbubey Alam. The bench deferred hearing the matter twice since November 6.
On August 5, the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police picked up Shahidul Alam from his residence without showing any warrant or reason.
He was picked within hours of Al Jazeera broadcasting his interview in which he spoke about schoolchildren’s road safety movement.
On Wednesday, the High Court Division put off hearing his bail application for the 17th time since August 27.
His lawyers said that in the case Shahidul was falsely accused of giving call to overthrow the government in the interview with Al Jazeera.
On November 1, a bench of Justice AKM Asaduzzaman and Justice SM Mozibur Rahman, however, dropped Shahidul Alam’s bail application from the day’s cause list without citing any ground and advised his lawyers to move the bail application in another bench.
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