Helena faces charges of 'spreading misinformation'

Friday, 30 July 2021

Helena Jahangir, a businessman who was recently sacked from the Awami League subcommittee, has been arrested on charges of 'spreading propaganda and misleading information' on digital platforms, the Rapid Action Battalion said, reports bdnews24.com. 

The elite police unit detained Helena after raiding her flat in Dhaka's Gulshan on Thursday.

Later, they conducted another raid on the offices of Joyjatra IPTV owned by Helena and Joyjatra Foundation in Mirpur.

The RAB said it detained the businesswoman after finding foreign liquor and gambling equipment at her home.

Foreign currencies, walkie-talkies and deer hide were also found at the house, according to RAB's Additional Director General Col KM Azad.

But the law enforcers did not find any valid documents for the operation of the IP TV, according to an executive magistrate at the scene.

The elite police unit descended on the offices of Joyjatra TV in Mirpur-11 around 2 am on Friday, said Imran Hossain, assistant director of RAB's media wing.

After the raid on Joyjatra TV office, RAB's Executive Magistrate Nadir Shah said the law enforcers did not find any valid documents for the operation of the channel.

"Based on the information, a raid was carried out at the Joyjatra TV office in Mirpur. Although it had all the necessary equipment, the channel did not have any valid documents. ”

In a statement on Friday, the RAB said Helena has been arrested on charges of "attempting to defame important state institutions and individuals by spreading lies, propaganda and misleading information using digital platforms."

Details of the matter will be revealed at a press conference in the afternoon, it added.

The RAB launched the raid around 8pm. Female RAB personnel entered the house after two more hours.

The RAB personnel escorted Helena out of the house sometime after midnight.

Helena, a director of the apex trade body FBCCI and chairperson of Joyjatra TV, also identifies herself as the president of the IP TV Owners Association of Bangladesh.

The Awami League’s subcommittee on women’s affairs fired her as a member recently after her name came up on social media as the president of ‘Bangladesh Awami Chakrijibi League’, a group with no official links to the ruling party.

She also lost her post as an advisor to the Cumilla District Unit of the party after a ‘Chakrijibi League’ post seeking members went viral on social media, putting the Awami League in a gaffe.