AKM Fahim Mashroor, CEO of bdjobs.com, was freed hours after police detained him yesterday in connection with a case filed under section 57 of the ICT act.
A team of Cyber Security and Crime Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) picked him up from his office in Karwan Bazar around 1:00pm. He was freed around three hours later due to what the police said was lack of evidence.
His detention came three days after Md Al Sadik, former mass education secretary of Dhaka University (DU) unit of pro-Awami League Chhatra League, filed the case against him with Kafrul Police Station.
Sadik told The Daily Star over phone that he had been observing Fahim's Facebook activities over the last couple of months. During the civil service quota reform movement, Fahim was sharing “propaganda and misleading information” and posting status updates “belittling the prime minister”, he claimed. He said he consulted the matter with senior Chhatra League leaders and a state minister before lodging the case.
On April 4, Fahim, former president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), received National SME Entrepreneur Awards 2018 from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for his company's outstanding contribution to the SME sector in 2017.
In the case, filed under the Information Communication and Technology Act 2006 (amended 2013), Sadik, also a BASIS member, claimed that Fahim had created an anarchic situation by uploading and sharing caricatures and memes of the prime minister.
He said it deteriorated law and order and harmed the image of the state and the government. Sadik attached eight screenshots, which he claimed to be of Fahim's Facebook page.
Najmul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of Cyber Security and Crime Division, yesterday afternoon told The Daily Star, “Fahim had been released upon a bond after interrogation. Enough evidence to prove the allegations brought against him could not be found in his Facebook page.”
Further investigation is going on and the next step would be taken after analysing technical data, he added.
Fahim could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.
Ahmad Islam Muqsit, chairman of bdjobs.com, in a statement said, “Different media reported it [Fahim's detention and release] differently and we are requesting everyone not to publish any confusing information before knowing the details.”
Fahim's fellow businessmen said he is very popular among the members of BASIS. He was elected to the executive body of BASIS six times.
His opponents in BASIS published a pamphlet, titled Fahimnama, this year to prevent him from vying in the BASIS elections. Fahimnama contained his Facebook posts in which he had been critical of the government, especially during the 2014 general election.
“Some directors of the previous committee were trying to take over BASIS but they did not take part in the election,” said a member of BASIS. This vested quarter is trying to return by harassing elected individuals, the member added.
A former leader of BASIS said Sadik is a member of BASIS and a very close associate of a director of the last BASIS committee.
There might be business conflict, but personal issues are at the core, said sources in BASIS.
Fahim had criticised the government for not creating enough job opportunities. He also shared a post mocking Sufia Kamal Hall unit Chhatra League President Iffat Jahan Isha, who allegedly assaulted some female students of the dorm for taking part in the movement.
Chhatra League General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain shared screenshots of those posts on his Facebook page on April 14 at 12:44am with the comment, “… how Fahim Mashrur can make derogatory remarks about our sister Isha and instigate the quota movement? Will bring down to earth Fahim Mashrur and his patronisers.”