The High court has denied bail to the detained Bangladeshi publisher of Ba-Dwip Prakashan, Shamsuzzoha Manik (73), who was arrested on February 16 for ‘hurting religious sentiment’.

An HC bench comprising Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Md. Ejarul Haque Akondo deleted the case from the cause list on Tuesday.

The court did not agree to entertain the petition at this moment and suggested his lawyer Advocate Tobarak Hossain to press it later.

Police arrested Manik and two others from the book stall of ‘Ba-dwip Prakashan’ at Ekushey Book Fair. The two others are Fakir Taslim Uddin Kajal, official at the publication house, and Shamsul Alam, a writer.

Police also seized a total of more 75 books from Kataban and Nilkhet areas in separate drives.

Shahbagh police sub-inspector Masud Rana filed a case under Section 57(2) of Information and Communication Technology Act against the three. Police is yet to file charge sheet in the case, Manik’s lawyer Tabarak Hossain said.

Earlier, the Ekushey Book Fair authorities closed down the book stall of Ba-Dwip Prakashan at Suhrawardy Udyan for selling a book ‘Islam Bitarka’, meaning controversy of Islam, which was edited by Shamsuzzoha Manik.

The arrest of Manik came at a time when several atheist bloggers, writers and publishers have been facing violence in Bangladesh.

Last year, 31 October, a Bangladeshi publisher of secular books was hacked to death and three other people wounded in fresh attacks in Bangladesh’s capital that were claimed by Muslim radicals.