Police have arrested a local leader of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal – the women wing of the BNP – in Rajbari for allegedly posting an offensive status on Facebook about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sonia Aktar Smriti, member of the district's Mohila Dal and president of Rajbari Blood Donors, was picked up from her residence on Tuesday night.
Confirming the arrest, Mohammad Shahadat Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rajbari Sadar Police Station, told The Business Standard (TBS) that a case has been filed against her under Sections 153 and 505 of the Penal Code.
After the arrest, the court ordered her sent to jail, he said.
On Monday evening, Samsul Arefin Chowdhury, science and technology affairs secretary of Mizan union Awami League in Rajbari, filed a case with Rajbari Sadar Police Station regarding the Facebook post of Sonia Aktar published on 31 August.
According to the complaint, Sonia Aktar criticised a speech of the prime minister using "offensive" words. Plaintiff Samsul Arefin Chowdhury alleged in the complaint that the prime minister's reputation has been damaged and defamed by the Facebook post.
Samsul Arefin Chowdhury told TBS after reading the Facebook post he felt a case should be filed against her. However, he could not say under which section of the law he filed the case.
Meanwhile, many netizens have protested on social media against the arrest of Sonia Aktar, including BNP leaders and activists.
Ali Nawaz Mahmud Khayyam, former BNP member of parliament, wrote, "Sonia Aktar who has two small children was arrested from her home at midnight. The action taken against her seems like the work of an invading army."
Local people in Rajbari said Sonia Aktar has donated free blood to more than 27,000 patients with her organisation in the last 13 years. Recently, she has been involved in collecting about 15 bags of blood every day for patients in different parts of the country.