Published:  02:40 AM, 15 March 2020

Kurigram DC under question over journo's jail

It was 12:10 on Friday night. Ariful Islam (36), the Kurigram correspondent of online portal Bangla Tribune, was preparing for sleep at his Vocational Intersection house in the town. At the time, some people started knocking at his door and broke into the house and began physical torture.

Mostarima Sardar Nitu, wife of Ariful Islam, came up with details of the incident on Saturday and said, ''A group of 7-8 plain-cloth men started torturing my husband soon after entering the house while approximately 40 others including Ansar men were waiting outside.''

''I wanted to know their identities and what my husband's offence was. Ignoring my questions they kept beating him'', she added. ''At one stage, they took him out and left for Deputy Commissioner's (DC) office and tortured him physically there again.'' she said after meeting her husband in jail.

At around 2 am on the same night, a mobile court under a taskforce of Kurigram district administration sentenced Ariful Islam to one-year imprisonment for "possessing'' drugs.

''During the drive, the team found a bottle of alcohol and 150 grams of hemp at his home and arrested him,'' claimed Sultana Pervin, DC of Kurigram while replying to journalists on Saturday.''It was not a mobile court, rather a special task force that conducted the drive and convicted the journalist,'' the DC added.

"My husband ran some reports on the irregularities of the district administration which went against DC Sultana Parveen. As a result he was jailed with allegations of taking drugs," claimed Mostarima Sardar Nitu, wife of Ariful Islam.

However, DC Sultana denied the allegations and said she was not aware of the raid at Ariful's house.Journalist Ariful ran a report over an attempt by the DC to name a renovated pond after her.

He also made another report recently over irregularities regarding appointments in the DC office.Meanwhile, following the arrest of Ariful Islam, journalists of Kurigram and Dhaka have expressed dissatisfaction on social media and demanded a high-level investigation into the issue.

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