According to the statements of the police, recently a Muslim cleric has been accused of issuing a fatwa prohibiting women from working in farms. Later, he has been arrested in Bangladesh on December 13. As a result of this fatwa, the imam and five officials from the mosque faced indictment following their announcement had encouraged locals in the western town of Kumarkhali to try and prevent ladies from going to work in the fields. The local Police Chief Abdul Khaleque remarked that they had taken the judgment following their prayers on December 13, prohibiting ladies from going out of their house.
He also informed that they had used the loudspeakers of the mosque in order to spread the message on that evening. Officially the Muslim majority is considered secular, but the Muslim clerics are heavily influential, specifically in the conservative rural zones of the nation. Issuing a fatwa had been banned since 2001. However, in 2011 the highest Court of the country made it clear that they could issue a fatwa in case that would not impose any kind of physical harm.
The decision has been hugely criticized by the rights groups of the country, accusing that in remotes areas that are far away from the secular courts use fatwas to issue punishments, which are not in favour of the regulations of the country. Once upon a time, women were forced to be confined inside the house in many remote areas of Bangladesh, but the shortage of labourers has opened up an opportunity for the women to work in the fields during the crop sowing season. The police had informed that the six offenders would face charges underneath the special powers act, controversial military-era law.