Islamic preacher arrested in Bangladesh for making "anti-state speech"

IANS File Photo
IANS File Photo

Dhaka, April 8 (PTI): A 27-year-old Bangaladeshi Islamic preacher has again been apprehended by the police, this time under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for allegedly making an "anti-state speech" and inciting disorder, according to media reports on Thursday.

Rafiqul Islam Madani, Director of Sawtul Hera Madrasa, was picked up from his ancestral home in northern Bangladesh's Netrokona district on Wednesday, Director of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Legal and Media, Commander Khandaker Al Moin said.

Madani, popularly known as "shishu bokta" (child preacher), has been sued under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for allegedly making anti-state statements, as well as for instigating unrest, The Dhaka Tribune reported.

This is the second time in less than a month that Madani has been arrested. On March 25, the police apprehended Madani, along with 30 others, from Motijheel thana in Dhaka district for protesting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here. On that occasion, Madani was released from custody within a few hours.

Reacting to the fresh arrest, Islamic advocacy group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh demanded that Madani be released at the earliest. Madani is a central committee member of the group.

Hefazat leaders warned that their movement could toughen if Madani was not released.