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Helena arrested on charges of 'spreading propaganda, misinformation'

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-07-30 15:20:49 BdST

The Rapid Action Battalion detained businesswoman Helena Jahangir, who recently lost her post in an Awami League subcommittee, after a raid on her home in Dhaka’s Gulshan on Thursday, Jul 29, 2021.

Helena Jahangir, a businesswoman who was recently sacked from an Awami League subcommittee, has been arrested on charges of spreading propaganda and misleading information on digital platforms, the Rapid Action Battalion says.

The charges against her include attempting to defame important state institutions and individuals by spreading lies, and running a propaganda and spreading misleading information using digital platforms, the RAB said in a statement on Friday after arresting Helena in a raid on her flat in Dhaka's Gulshan on Thursday night.

“She was very ambitious,” RAB spokesman Commander Khandaker Al Moyeen said at a news conference.

Besides a case under the Digital Security Act over the “disinformation campaign”, Helena will face cases under the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, Special Powers Act, and the Telecommunication Act, Moyeen said.  

The RAB conducted another raid on the offices of Joyjatra IPTV owned by Helena and Joyjatra Foundation in Mirpur very early in the morning following her arrest after finding foreign liquor and gambling equipment at her home.

Although the Joyjatra TV station had equipment, the law enforcers did not find any valid documents for the operation of the IP TV, RAB's Executive Magistrate Nadir Shah said.

Foreign currencies, walkie-talkies and deer hide were also found at the house, according to RAB's Additional Director General Col KM Azad.

The elite police unit went to the offices of Joyjatra TV in Mirpur-11 around 2am on Friday, said Imran Hossain, assistant director of RAB's media wing.

The RAB raided the house around 8pm on Thursday. Female RAB personnel entered the house after two more hours.

The RAB personnel escorted Helena out of the house sometime after midnight. She waved at the journalists waiting outside.

Helena, a director of the apex trade body FBCCI and chairperson of Joyjatra TV, also identifies herself as the president of the IP TV Owners Association of Bangladesh.

The Awami League’s subcommittee on women’s affairs fired her as a member recently after her name came up on social media as the president of ‘Bangladesh Awami

Chakrijibi League’, a group with no official links to the ruling party.

She also lost her post as an advisor to the Cumilla District Unit of the party after a ‘Chakrijibi League’ post seeking members went viral on social media, putting the Awami League in a tight spot.