Barely a week back, Murad Hassan was a powerful State Minister for Information and Broadcasting. But today he finds nowhere to hide his face.
Murad has lost his cabinet portfolio, party post and political clouts by the time for his offensive remarks against women that came from his vanity as political analysts believe.
Though he has lost the cabinet portfolio and party post, Murad is still an MP.
Murad had left the country in his desperate bid to hide amid widespread criticism at home, but his attempt to stay abroad went in vain as he had to get back home on Sunday having failed to enter Canada and the UAE.
An official at Hazrat Shahajalal International Airport immigration police, wishing anonymity, told UNB that Murad returned home by an Emirates flight (EK 586) around 5pm and got out of the airport around 6 pm through the domestic terminal hiding his face with his jacket hoodie and mask to avoid the media.
As he had no valid visa to enter Dubai, he got back home, the airport official said, adding, “Murad was supposed to get back home in an Emirates flight at 8:20am today but he could not as he had to undergo Covid test in Dubai, delaying his departure schedule.”
Since he was deported, the Emirates authorities handed him over to the immigration at the airport in Dhaka as part of a procedure, he added.
The airport official said the airlines’ authorities usually hand over ‘refused’ passengers to immigration along with their passports. “He (Murad) was handed over to us.”
According to him, Murad’s mobile phone is found on since he arrived at the airport, but he is not receiving calls.
Murad Hassan had left the country for Canada in an Emirates flight around 1:20am on Thursday night.
According to Toronto-based Bangla news portal thebengalitimes.com, Murad reached Toronto Pearson International Airport at 1.31am (Canadian time) on Friday.
Canadian immigration officials questioned the former Bangladesh’s junior minister about various allegations, including harassing, humiliating and torturing women, against him in Bangladesh.
They also showed him various videos, photos and news released and published on him, and wanted to know his version, the news portal said.
It said Murad was also asked about the reasons for leaving Bangladesh and coming to Canada, but he failed to give any “satisfactory answer”.
Murad was then flown back to Dubai in a return Emirates flight from the Canadian airport.
According to media reports, a group of Bangladeshi expatriates living in Canada played an active role in preventing Murad from entering Canada as they sent many emails to the website of the Canada Border Services Agency about his controversial activities, comments and video clips.
However, citing a source at the Canadian High Commission in Dhaka, a TV channel here reported that Murad was not allowed to enter Canada as he did not have necessary documents relating to fresh Covid test reports and a vaccine card.
At a press conference at the airport today (Sunday), journalists wanted to know from State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali as to how Murad was allowed to fly without a Covid test report and vaccine card.
In reply he said, “There’s a separate desk of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) at the airport which is supposed to check the Covid-related documents.
The state minister advised the journalists to contact the DGHS health to know about the matter.
Case under DSA
Meanwhile, a petition was filed with the Cyber Tribunal on Sunday seeking its permission to file a case against Murad Hassan under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for his anti-women remarks.
Advocate Omar Faruk, secretary of Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, filed the petition with Dhaka Cyber Tribunal on Sunday. Judge Ash-Shams Jaglul Hussein of Dhaka Cyber Tribunal is likely to hear the plea on Monday as he is on leave today.
Besides, three complaints were lodged against Murad in Chattogram, Rajshahi and Sylhet for his anti-women remarks.
Asked about filing of a case against Murad under the Digital Security Act (DSA), Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters at a progarmme in Dhaka on Saturday that the state is not aggrieved with him.
Addressing a programme of Nirapad Sarak Chai at the Jatiya Press Club, he, however, said if one is aggrieved with Murad he or she has the right to file a case against the former state minister.
On Tuesday last, Murad Hassan quit the cabinet following the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for his offensive and indecent remarks on women.
Murad had been under increasing criticism by various quarters for his disrespectful remarks on women in an interview on social media. Several audios and videos containing indecent remarks by Murad Hassan also went viral on social media during the last few days.
The 47-year-old doctor-turned-politician drew huge criticism by netizens for his offensive remarks about BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s daughter Zaima Rahman.
During an interview on social media, he described Tarique Rahman as a ‘whoreson’ and alleged that Zaima Rahman cannot sleep without the company of a black man every night.
Amid the uproar for his indecent comment against Zaima, a two-year-old phone conversation of Murad with actor Mamnun Hasan Emon and actress Mahiya Mahi recently went viral on social media. In that audio clip, Murad made “derogatory comments” on the actress, threatened her and gave her an alleged indecent proposal.
Murad also made indecent comments against Dhaka University’s female student leaders, prompting a former student of the university to lodge a complaint against him with Shahbagh Police Station under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
Soon after submitting his resignation letter on Tuesday, Murad apologised to women.
In a post on his verified Facebook profile, Murad said, “If I’ve made any mistake or if my words have hurt mothers and sisters, then forgive me.”
On Wednesday, a writ was filed with the High Court challenging the legality of Murad Hassan’s MP post on the same ground.
Supreme Court Advocate Yunus Ali Akhand who filed the petition with the apex court also sought judicial investigation into the activities of Murad, also the MP of Jamalpur-4 constituency.
The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah is likely to hear the writ next week.
Murad was also relieved from the post of Health and Population Affairs Secretary of Jamalpur district unit Awami League for damaging the party’s image and for his involvement in anti-disciplinary activities.
Murad, son of noted Jamalpur Awami League leader Matiar Rahman Talukder, was elected MP for the first time with the Awami League’s ticket from Jamalpur-4 seat in the ninth parliamentary election in 2008.
As he was elected MP again in 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inducted him into the cabinet first as State Minister for Health and Family Welfare in 2019. Later, he was made the state minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Source: United News of Bangladesh