The Counter Terrorism unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) placed a fresh charge sheet in a Dhaka court against cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and six others, in a case filed under the Digital Security Act, on charge of posting comments on social media allegedly criticising the government.
The other people in the charge sheet are Rashtrachinta Dhaka coordinator Didarul Bhuiyan, former Dhaka Stock Exchange director Minhaj Mannan, Netra News editor in chief Tasneem Khalil, Zulkarnain Sayer Khan, alias Samiul Islam, Ashiq Imran, and Swapan Wahid.
Minhaj, Tasneem, Samiul, Ashiq, and Wahid were earlier dropped from the first charge sheet filed by Ramna Police Station on 9 February last.
The court then asked the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police to investigate further, said Cyber Tribunal's public prosecutor Nazrul Islam Shamim.
CTTC submitted the charge sheet accusing the seven named above, on Wednesday.
In his case lodged on 5 May, 2020, RAB-3 warrant officer Abu Bakar Siddique named 11 persons and five to six unidentified people on charges of tarnishing the image of the country's founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, hurting the spirit of the liberation war, and spreading rumours about Covid-19, the army, and other security forces, on social media.
DMP additional commissioner for CTTC, Md Asaduzzaman, said that upon further investigation following the court order, the aforementioned seven were accused in the charge sheet.
Kishore, writer Mushtaq Ahmed, and Didarul were named in the first charge sheet.
Mushtaq, detained in the DSA case, died in Kashimpur High Security Jail in Gazipur on 25 February last, while Kishore and Didarul are on bail.
Md Asaduzzaman said they have arrested the accused who are in Bangladesh, and those accused who are abroad are shown as fugitives in the case.
Tasneem Khalil, Samiul, Ashiq, and Wahid are shown as fugitives in the fresh charge sheet, while the names of Shahed Alam, a journalist living in the US, Asif Mohiuddin, a Germany-based blogger, and Philip Schumacher, were dropped.
CTTC investigators said the accused were spreading propaganda on the 'I am Bangladesh' Facebook page.
After the case was filed, Mushtaq, Kishore, Minhaz Mannan, and Didarul were shown arrested after they were reportedly picked up.