Human Rights organization Amnesty International has taken up the case of Hindu man Rasraj Das who was forced to confess that he had shared an anti-Islam Facebook post on his account, a charge that led to murderous attacks on the Bangladeshi Hindu community across the nation just before the Hindu festival of Diwali.
25-year old Rasraj Das belongs to the Brahmanbaria district in eastern Bangladesh which saw heinous violence against Hindus prompting international condemnation and mass exodus after the Muslim mobs attacked them to take revenge for the post.
Currentriggers.com was one of the first news portals to extensively cover the attacks against Hindus which were similar to the anti-Bengali attacks which took place before the partition of Pakistan in 1971.
If sentenced for hurting the religious sentiments, the Hindu man may land in jail for 14-years, noted the Amnesty International.
Interestingly, a report by the district police stated that the image was not uploaded by Rasraj Das but someone with mischief on mind used his account to do it.
Amnesty International also notes that:
A separate report by the National Human Rights Commission also cleared Rasraj Das of posting the image. Despite this, the charge against Rasraj Das has not been dropped and he remains detained in Brahmanbaria District Jail. His application for bail was rejected by a Brahmanbaria court on 3 January, said Amnesty International. His next bail hearing is scheduled for 16 January.
The mob, which allegedly had links to the groups Hefajat-e-Islam and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, went on a rampage through Hindu villages in the area, vandalising at least 100 homes and several temples.
It also said that:
Rasraj Das was arrested on 30 October and charged by police in Brahmanbaria for violating Section 57 of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act for “hurting religious sentiment”. Under this draconian law, an individual can face up to 14 years in jail for “publishing fake, obscene or defaming information in electronic form” or information which “prejudices the image of the State or person.” The ICT Act is often used by the Bangladeshi authorities to target, harass and imprison government critics.
Despite police saying that Rasraj was not responsible for posting the image, Amnesty International says that the charge has not been dropped and he was denied bail on 3 January. His next bail hearing is scheduled for 16 January. Human Righst watchdog Amnesty International also said that his family is concerned about his safety and they too received threats after Rasraj Das’s arrest and were initially forced into hiding. Now they have returned home but Rasraj is still in the jail.
Amnesty International has requested people to take action and demand the release of the innocent Hindu man.