Hriday Mandal walks out of jail

School teacher Hriday Mandal was released from Munshiganj jail after securing bail in a case over ‘hurting religious sentiment’ on Sunday.

Hriday was freed from Munshiganj jail around 5pm, said Jailer Abul Bashar.

“We received the bail papers of Hriday Mandal at around 4pm,” the jailer added.

His arrest sparked protests from rights group from home and abroad calling for his immediate release.

The rights groups denounced his arrest as an attempt to curtail freedom of expression and science education in the country

After his release, Hriday said the allegations brought against him are false.

He said, “I was teaching science in class that day. They were purposely questioning me about religious feelings. I didn’t say anything that could be an issue. I didn’t even notice that they were recording on mobile.”

He said, “Some misguided students who do not study have done it together with misguided teachers. I can’t name anyone at the moment. They might have done this with me over private tutoring.”

Besides, he sought security from the state.

Earlier in the day, Additional District and Sessions Judge Motahar Akter Bhuiya granted the teacher bail after 19 days of his arrest in the case.

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, claimed that the false allegation was brought against him to oust him from the school due to enmity with some colleagues.

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

On March 22, 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.

Source: United News of Bangladesh