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Latif Siddique grant jailed after surrender (video)

A Dhaka court today sent sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique to prison on surrender before a police station in a case filed for his comments demeaning hajj.

Latif Siddique surrendered at Dhanmondi Model Police Station around 1:30pm, Mohammad Jahangir, a sub-inspector of the police station, told The Daily Star Online.

He was produced before Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Atiqur Rahman’s court around 2:30pm, reports our correspondent from the spot.

Latif Siddique told the magistrate that he did not appoint a lawyer to defend him.

After a short hearing of the case filed by pro-BNP lawyer Abed Raza over hurting Muslims’ religious sentiments, the magistrate ordered police to lock up Latif Siddique in jail.

Lawyer Abed Raza claimed Latif Siddique hurt the religious sentiment of all Muslims in the world and demanded his exemplary punishment while talking to reporters after the order.

Latif Siddiqui had 22 cases against him filed in 18 districts for offending religious sentiments. There were multiple arrest warrants against him.

Latif Siddique denies to answer any question asked by the media at the gates of Dhaka Central Jail on Tuesday. Photo: TV grab

Latif Siddique denies to answer any question asked by the media at the gates of Dhaka Central Jail on Tuesday. Photo: TV grab

After the court ruling, the former minister was taken to Dhaka Central Jail where he was entered through the big gate after 10 minutes of refusing to pass through the smaller gate.

Two days ago, the veteran politician came back to the country after hideout in India in face of outrage from several quarters. However, he had vanished without a trace after arrival.

Latif’s imprisonment came two months after he publicly demeaned hajj, Tablighi Jamaat and prime minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a New York programme in September 28.

Following the remarks, he was sacked from the cabinet, his position as telecommunications and information technology minister, on October 12. Later his presidium and primary membership in his party the ruling Awami League was annulled.

Awami League has made it clear that the party will not take responsibility of his doings. The party’s joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said: “He is on his own.”

The heat of events concerning Latif even concerned the parliament sessions on multiple occasions.

File photo of Abdul Latif Siddique

File photo of Abdul Latif Siddique

Majority of the protests over Latif’s comments came from the Islamist quarters. They had issued a hartal threat for Thursday if the government failed to capture Latif by tomorrow.

Now, a controversy is prevailing on whether Latif Siddiqui is eligible to maintain his position as a lawmaker from Tangail-4 constituency.

WHAT LATIF ACTUALLY SAID

At the September 28 programme in the USA, Latif said, “During Hajj, so much manpower is wasted. More than 20 lakh people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. They have no work, no production and are offering only deduction.”

He added some 20 lakh Tablighi Jamaat people get together annually. They do not do any work, except for halting traffic movement in the whole country.

He also reportedly made critical comments about Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the prime minister’s son.

When the AL served a show-cause notice asking Latif to explain why he wouldn’t be expelled from the party permanently for acting against the party charter, Latif, in reply, defended himself saying the AL dropped the word “Muslim” from its name in 1955 to give the party a secular character. Moreover, the party ensured freedom of speech and expression through its constitution. And so, he can express his feelings about any issue.

Latif, however, regretted that AL leaders got into “an embarrassing situation” for what he had said.

But the ruling party found his reply unsatisfactory and expelled him.

When the AL served a show-cause notice asking Latif to explain why he wouldn’t be expelled from the party permanently for acting against the party charter, Latif, in reply, defended himself saying the AL dropped the word “Muslim” from its name in 1955 to give the party a secular character. Moreover, the party ensured freedom of speech and expression through its constitution. And so, he can express his feelings about any issue.

Latif, however, regretted that AL leaders got into “an embarrassing situation” for what he had said.

But the ruling party found his reply unsatisfactory and expelled him.

[youtube id=”N2IqbPOCRJg” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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