Who planted drugs, alcohol in Kurigram journalist’s arrest?

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A burning question which has engulfed Kurigram local residents, leaders, and the mass public

A mobile court consisting of at least 40 people on Saturday broke into Dhaka Tribune journalist Ariful Islam’s house. 

After a severe beating they sentenced him to a year of jail time and a fine of Tk50000, allegedly upon finding half a bottle of alcohol and 150gm of the contraband drug marijuana in his possession.

Everything seemed like a normal event at any given day, on which the law enforcers punished the criminal under proper jurisdiction established in the country. Except this time, chaos broke out as the people and journalists from the whole country expressed their utter concern, standing in human chains and carrying out protests for Kurigram’s Ariful.

This turn of events is important and raises a question, what was different in Ariful’s case?

Replying to this question, Kurigram Municipality Councillor Kamruzzaman Mintu said he has known Ariful for long – someone who is a prestigious journalist and college teacher of district– and never has he ever seen Ariful even with a cigarette in his hand. 

Safi Khan, district journalist of Prothom Alo, hinted that as Ariful was always raising his voice against all forms of atrocities in the district, he might be a victim of a master plan of the influential leaders, whose image was at risk due to him.

Kurigram Mayor Abdul Jalil said Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sultana Pervin forgot that she is just a government servant whose job is to serve the people, and is treating Kurigram as her monarchy. Ariful was always opposing her autocratic behaviour, so she might be the one who is behind all these planted drugs, accusations, and arrest.

He said: “It is a burning question in Kurigram now, that who planted the drugs and alcohol to prompt the arrest of the journalist and how? Is it going to be a common oppression of truth under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government or will it be a golden example to whoever tries to misuse his/her power by receiving proper punishment in this regard?”

Echoing his remarks, district Awami League President Nazrul Islam, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote’s President Shamol Kumar Bhowmick, and other influential leaders also condemned the atrocity and demanded answers to the same question, along with thousands of other residents of the district and asked for proper justice.