Islamist orator Rofiqul Madani indicted in digital security case

A tribunal in Dhaka has indicted Islamist orator Rofiqul Islam Madani for spreading anti-state and provocative remarks in a digital security case filed by the Rapid Action Battalion.

Judge Mohammad As-Shams Jaglul Hossain turned down a plea for acquittal by Madani, also known as “child orator”, formally opening the trial on Wednesday. The judge also set the date for hearing the case for Feb 22, said Shamim Al Mamun, a tribunal official.

Lawyer Nazrul Islam Shameem represented the state, while lawyer Md Rabbi argued for Madani.

RAB arrested Madani from his Netrokona home on Apr 7 and confiscated four mobile phones containing pornography from him. He was handed over to Gazipur Metropolitan Police the following day before the court ordered him to jail.

On Feb 10, Madani gave a speech at a religious congregation in Kamaleshwar, Gazipur Boardbazar disdaining the government.

RAB filed a case under the Digital Security Act 2018 over the incident, saying he hampered the religious values and sentiment of people, disseminated aggressive thoughts and threatened people wrongly which led to a worsening law and order situation.

The police detained him in Dhaka’s Motijheel during radical group Hifazat-e Islam’s violent protests on Mar 25 against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh. He was later released and not named in a case over the violence.