Police have arrested six people, including the imam of a local mosque, in Kumarkhali upazila, Kushtia, in connection with a fatwa (edict) prohibiting women from going to farms.
The arrestees are President of Kalyanpur Mosque Committee Altaf Hossain, its Secretary Matiur Rahman, Imam Abu Musa, Abul Hossain, Anisur Rahman and Daud Hossain, UNB reports.
Of them, the former trio was arrested on Tuesday while the rest were picked up on Wednesday, said police.
Earlier on Friday, the mosque imam announced through mikes that women could not go to farmlands in order to 'prevent anti-social activities and stealing of crops'.
The imam claimed that some women steal crops from field while some others engage in anti-social activities.
However, opposing the imam's fatwa, khatib of the mosque Abdul Malek who was present at the mosque when the edict was pronounced said, "Islam doesn't support preventing women from going to work."
Alo Khatun, a local woman, said she raises goats at her home and has to go outside to collect grass for them. "But after the fatwa, I'm afraid of going go outdoors," she said.
Local female UP member Jahanara Khatun told UNB that both men and women steal crops. "Those found guilty will be punished. But banning women from going to work can't be tolerated."
Claiming the fatwa as a conspiracy to keep women confined to their home, Jayedul Haque Matin, project coordination of a local NGO working for women and children development, said such attempt will affect the country's prosperity.