DSA case on Facebook post: too high a price for an underage girl

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A 17-year-old girl has been languishing in a juvenile correctional center for a year because of a Facebook post she allegedly published degrading the Koran and hurting religious sentiment.

Exactly one year ago, Dipti Rani Das, a tenth grader at upazila Parbatipur in Dinajpur was dragged from a train and charged under the Digital Security Act 2018.

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The underage girl was prosecuted by the Parbatipur police for what the first information report said “the crime of deteriorating the situation of public order by injuring religious sentiment using electronic means”.

Since she was booked, her bail has been denied four times – the fourth in a decision by the country’s highest court.

Dipti was almost out once when the High Court granted her a six-month bail on May 11, 2021. This was after her bail had already been denied three times by the court in Dinajpur.

Eight days later, the deputy district commissioner appealed to the Supreme Court’s appeal division to request that the bail order be stayed.

“The provisional bail order granted by the High Court Division in a pending appeal clearly shows the non-application of the judiciary failing to understand that the accused respondent is named in the FIR having to first sight and specific on the act of committing a heinous act offense under article 25, article 28, article 31 of the DPA, ”said the appeal.

Article 25 criminalizes the dissemination of false information or propaganda to “annoy, insult or humiliate” while Article 28 deals with hurting religious sentiment, and Article 31 is to prosecute a person who deteriorates the situation of the ‘public order.

These are all non-releasable sections – a condition that seems to apply to a 17-year-old as well.

The appeal to the Appeal Division further states that “the matter is under investigation.

And so Dipti languishes in a correctional center in Rajshahi.

Her father Dilip Das said: “It takes me about two hours to travel and see her. I last saw her two months ago.”

The “heinous crime” for which Dipti is jailed was sharing a photo of the Holy Quran on a woman’s thighs, according to the FIR, which also said the photo attacked the “hearts of pious Muslims.”

Dipti’s father said his daughter kept insisting that his profile had been hacked.

“When the photo was shared from my daughter’s profile, the locals noticed it and came to our house to complain. I berated my daughter and apologized to them on her behalf,” Dilip said. , a merchant who manages a hardware store.

“They even went to attack my store but the other traders stopped them saying that I am a good person and that I had never done anything to hurt or disrespect the Muslim community.”

He further continued to beg that he was born in Parbatipur and that he had spent his entire life in the region in harmony with the Muslim community as a model minority.

“I felt like my daughter might be hurt in some way, so I put her on the evening train to send her to her aunt, but some young people noticed that she was on the train. Even after it started moving, they stopped it on its tracks, dragged her outside, and handed her over to the police. “

And so began his ordeal.

Dipti had just finished tenth grade in local government high school and had even been admitted to eleventh grade, but since being juvied her education has stalled.

“There is no school inside the detention center. His health has deteriorated because the food is of very poor quality. Sometimes we send money so that she can buy snacks, ”said Dilip.

Dipti’s attorney, Shahinuzzaman, said that by releasing her on bail, the High Court also issued a rule asking why she should not be released on bail. While her bail order has been stayed, the HC will still hold a hearing to discuss whether or not she should be released on bail, and they are currently awaiting a hearing date.

Dipti’s mother, Anima, collapsed when talking about her daughter.

“She wanted to be a software engineer. She wanted to go to college, but even if she’s on bail now, I will have to marry her because she can’t stay in this community anymore,” she said.

She also said that Muslim customers were already avoiding her husband’s shop and their business was also hampered.


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