Hriday Mandal gets bail after 19 days in jail

A Munshiganj court on Sunday granted bail to school teacher Hriday Mandal after 19 days of his arrest in a case over ‘hurting religious sentiment’.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Motahar Akter Bhuiya passed the order.

Hriday Mandal, a Science teacher of Binodpur Ramkumar High School, was arrested on March 22 after Asad Mia, an electrician of the school, lodged a complaint with Sadar Police on charge of hurting religious sentiment.

However, Babita Haldar, wife of Hriday Mandal, claimed that the false allegation was brought against him to oust him from the school due to previous enmity.

Earlier on March 20, some tenth-grade students of Binodpur Ramkumar High School (science section), recorded a class conversation of Hriday Mandal on science and religion where he reportedly disrespected religions.

On 22 March, some students staged demonstrations outside the school calling for punishment for Hriday.

Later that day, an office assistant (electrician) of the high school filed a case with police against the teacher, who was subsequently arrested.

Earlier, on Saturday, Amnesty International has urged the Bangladeshi authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release Hriday Chandra Mandal.

“Hriday Chandra Mondal’s detention is a shameful demonstration of the erosion of the human rights situation in Bangladesh. The authorities must take urgent measures to improve the conditions that allow people to express freely and safely, and ensure that teachers can speak freely in class without fear of reprisals,” said Smriti Singh, Deputy Regional Director for South Asia at Amnesty International, a UK-based global rights group.

Meanwhile, eminent writer Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said he couldn’t believe the arrest of science teacher Hriday in Munshiganj for answering a question raised in the classroom logically.

The former professor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) said this in a human chain rally held in front of National Museum around 5 pm on Saturday protesting the arrest of the teacher.

Source: United News of Bangladesh