Health Minister Zahid Maleque says the country would suffer if the confidential documents that Prothom Alo Reporter Rozina Islam allegedly photographed were leaked.
Rozina Islam is known for her strong reporting on official corruption. She made several investigative reports recently revealing corruptions in the health sector.
In the face of widespread criticism from various quarters over the arrest of Rozina, the minister made the above remark talking to reporters after a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in Agargaon of the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
The Secretariat officials told the minister that reporter Rozina entered the office of the personal secretary of the Health Services Division secretary in the absence of the official on Monday afternoon, reports bdnews24.com
"The on-duty official shouted when he saw the woman capturing files, putting some in her bag, even concealing some on her body (under clothes). Then our female officials came and held her, asking why she was doing what she was doing. They took the papers and files from her possession," the minister explained.
"The police were informed, who came and took her into custody. They also took her mobile phone and got many pictures in it," he added.
A press conference was called at the Secretariat to explain the health ministry's stance on Rozina's arrest, but reporters boycotted the programme protesting the authorities' ill treatment of Rozina on the previous day.
Rozina Islam was detained for allegedly taking snapshots of an official document at the Secretariat without due permission on Monday.
Hours after detention, a case was filed against her under the Official Secrets Act.
Deputy Secretary Sibbir Ahmed Osmani of the Health Services Division (HSD) filed a case with Shahbagh police station on Monday around midnight.
When police sought a five-day remand for her on Monday, the court turned down the petition and sent her to jail.