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Latif’s bail plea rejected

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Court Correspondent
A Dhaka court on Sunday rejected a bail petition of sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique in a case filed for his disparaging remarks on Hajj and Tablig Jamaat.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Asaduzzaman Noor passed the order after a hearing on the bail petition placed by Latif Siddique’s lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua.
The court also rescheduled the date for framing the charge in the case from today (Sunday) to March 15 as police could not produce the accused during the day’s hearing due to his illness.
Latif Siddique was taken to the Prison Cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital from Dhaka Central Jail after he fell sick in the jail on Saturday.
Latif Siddique was shown arrested by the police on November 25 in one of the seven cases filed against him in Dhaka for his disparaging remarks on Hajj and Tabliq Jamaat.
The case was filed with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrage’s court by Advocate ANM Abed Raja, former president of Dhaka Metropolitan Bar Association.
Latif Siddique was sent to jail by Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Atiqur Rahman when police produced him before the court following his surrender at the Dhanmondi Police Station on November 25.
Later, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Bikash Kumar Sarker transferred the case to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Asaduzzaman Noor.
A number of courts across the country, including in Dhaka, Chittagong and Narail, issued warrants for the arrest of Latif Siddique in separate cases filed for hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims with his derogatory comments.
He faces dozens of cases filed against him for his disparaging remarks.
At a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail in New York on September 28, Latif Siddique made disparaging remarks about hajj, one of the main pillars of Islam, and Tablig Jamaat.
Latif Siddique had said: “During hajj, too much of manpower is wasted. Over 20 lakh people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj. They’ve no work, no production and they only cause deduction.”
“Some 20 lakh Tablig Jamaat people get together annually who don’t do any work except halting traffic movement across the country,” he added.
His remarks triggered widespread criticisms both at home and abroad.
Latif Siddique was dropped from the cabinet and expelled from Awami League for his derogatory comments.