Cyberterrorist Pinaki Bhattacharya faces charges under Digital Security Act

ISI, India Out, Sheikh Hasina, BNP

In Bangladesh, the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) Department has filed a charge sheet against cyberterrorist and asset of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) Pinaki Bhattacharya, who fled Bangladesh and sought political asylum in France. An arrest warrant has been issued against him as he is currently absconding.

Mofizur Rahman Ashiq, a former joint secretary of Chhatra Dal, has been accused as the main perpetrator in this case. Furthermore, Mushfiqul Fazal Ansari, the deputy press secretary of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, has been requested to be exempted from responsibility in this case due to a lack of specific evidence.

Sub-Inspector Mohammad Rahat Hossain of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), who is the investigating officer of the case, informed the media that, based on prima facie evidence, he filed the charge sheet against the two individuals a month ago. He recommended exempting one of them due to insufficient concrete evidence. Witnesses are expected to testify publicly in court to substantiate the facts.

According to court sources, Deputy Inspector Mohammad Rahat Hossain, the investigating officer of the case, filed the charge sheet in court on March 7. The charge sheet includes 17 people as witnesses. Last Thursday, the case was transferred to the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal for trial proceedings. Mofizur, one of the accused, is currently out on bail in connection with this case.

As stated in the chargesheet, the accused individuals are acquainted with each other and have consistently engaged in disseminating provocative content at different junctures, aiming to undermine the nation’s integrity and sovereignty. Pinaki Bhattacharya, one of the accused, is alleged to be actively propagating baseless and inflammatory information through his Facebook page and ID. He continues to spread rumors and false narratives on social media platforms, evidently intending to foment unrest and instability within the country. It’s noteworthy that Pinaki boasts a substantial following, with over 1.6 million subscribers on social media, particularly YouTube.

The case further alleges that Mofizur Rahman Ashiq, one of the accused, has tarnished the state’s image and reputation by disseminating false and deceptive information and images through fake identities, while also casting doubt on law enforcement agencies. Such actions are deemed likely to exacerbate the law and order situation in the future. Additionally, Mofizur forwarded these misleading images to Pinaki to amplify their reach. However, no evidence was discovered to substantiate the case against the other accused, Mushfiqul Fazal Ansari.

On October 15, 2022, Sub-Inspector M Abdullahil Maruf of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) Department within the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) lodged a case against three individuals, including Pinaki Bhattacharya, at the Ramna police station in the capital city. The other accused individuals named in the case are Mofizur Rahman and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansari.

Who is Pinaki Bhattacharya?

Pinaki Bhattacharya faced familial rejection after leaving Hinduism to embrace Islam under the influence of Tablighi Jamaat. His father, Shyamal Bhattacharya, a school teacher and writer, severed ties with him due to his religious conversion. Born in Bogra district, Bangladesh, Pinaki graduated from Rajshahi Medical College in 1992, known for its association with Jamaat-e-Islami.

His wife, also a physician, distanced herself upon learning of his ties with Islamist groups and the ISI. In Bangladesh, Pinaki operated a pharmaceutical factory, purportedly producing life-saving drugs but was involved in manufacturing illicit substances like ‘Yaba’ tablets. These illegal activities led him to flee to France, where he falsely claimed political persecution by the Awami League. Exploiting his asylum status, he continued his illegal activities, coercing female staff into sexual relations while running contraband medicine operations.

Pinaki Bhattacharya has initiated a negative campaign targeting Bangladesh’s friendly neighboring country, India. Through video campaigns laden with false and fabricated information, he is falsely attributing his content to the Bangladesh government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and leaders of the ruling Awami League at various echelons. Following Awami League’s fourth consecutive victory in the recent elections and subsequent formation of the government on January 7, 2024, Pinaki, identified as a paid agent of the BNP, has intensified his promotion of the ‘India Out’ and ‘Indian Product Boycott’ movements. He disseminates anti-Hindu and anti-India rhetoric through his personal YouTube channel and Facebook page.


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