Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC)

19/3 Bir Uttam Kazi Nuruzzaman Road
West Panthapath
(East side of Square Hospital)
Dhaka 1205
Tel : +88 02 9126900
Fax : +88 02 9128748
E-mail : [email protected], [email protected]


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October, 2005


Death Threat to 6 journalists in Rajshahi:
On 6 October, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) threatened six journalists in Rajshahi - the north of Bangladesh, warning them not to write on their activities in the country. They claims that regular news reports by these journalists are creating obstacles in their activity and thus they are creating obstacles in establishing Islam in the region. Dainik Sonali Sangbad, a regional Bangla daily publish from Rajshahi received a letter from JMB leader of Rajshahi.

The letter threatened Jahangir Alam Akash, correspondent of the Dainik Sangbad, Anisuzzaman, correspondent of Dainik Janakantha, Babul and Tanjibul, correspondents of Dainik Jugantor, Mahtab Chowdhury, correspondent of Dainik Sonali Sangbad and Anwar Ali Himu, correspondent of The Daily Star.

Dainik Sonali Sangbad has published this threat letter in its 5 October issue. JMB leaders mentioned in the letter that they would take action against these journalists who always write against JMB and concerned terrors have been given direction to take necessary steps against these journalists. They have warned journalists not to write on their activities in the future.


Case against Sphulinga editor, publisher:
On October 6, Jessore police lodged a case against Mia Abdus Sattar, chief editor; Hamidul Islam Apu, editor and Abdul Kuddus, publisher of the Dainik Sphulinga, a regional Bangla daily of Jessore for publishing the newspaper even after the cancellation of its registration. It is to be noted that the registration of the daily was cancelled on September 22.

Police said, though the registration of the daily was cancelled but the daily allegedly continue its publication. On the night of 5 October police raided Mollah Printing Press at Jamrultala in the city along with a Magistrate named Masud. There they seized six printing plates of the daily that published 22 September to 26 September newspapers. For allegedly publishing the newspaper Aminur Rahman, filed a case under sections 32 and 33 of the Printing and Publication Act 1973. But Mia Abdus Sattar, chief editor of the daily said he didn't publish any issue of the newspaper its registration cancelled.


Jahiruddin Swapan suggests beating journalists:
On 12 October, Jahiruddin Swapan, central office secretary of BNP the ruling coalition and Member of Parliament tobogganed journalists in a public meeting in the quad of a Hindu Temple in Gauranadi, Barisal, south of Bangladesh. He titled the journalists as plotter of imaginative drama and more dangerous than a mugger who sells themselves for money Tk. 5 only.

BNP leader Jahiruddin Swapan swooped on journalists as they published torture against Hindu minority immediate after the general election of 2001. He also titled journalists as the instigator of Hindu minority tortures.

He asks his audience to get united against journalists and said to break their hands and legs. Local journalists were around during the public meeting and the speech of Mr. Swapan. After the speech by Mr. Jahiruddin Swapan, local journalists are feeling insecurity.

Jahiruddin Swapan, MP threatened and sledged journalists earlier, after he won the election of 2001, in different meeting as the journalists from Barisal have said.

Repeated try failed to contact Mr. Jahiruddin Swapan, MP to get his view and opinion in this regard. But, it is a guess, the reason of his annoyance toward journalists might be publishing news reports on the repression on minorities in his constituency.


Newspaper Office threatened to bomb attack:
On 18 October, a militant group named as Allah'r Dal (Group of Allah) has sent a letter threatening to hurl bomb at Dainik Chandpur Kantha with six other local newspaper offices and also four important places of the town of Chandpur, east of Bangladesh, if Jamaatul Mujahideen of Bangladesh (JMJB)'s regional commander of Noakhali and Comilla Shameem Hossain would not be released from the police custody.

The threat-letter signed in the bottom by a person named Md. Sohrab Hossain with his full address there. He also introduced himself as a member of suicide squad of JMB. The letter also said that he had courage to utter his own identity. The letter said that police arrested Shamim Hossain alias Saifullah Galib, local chief of JMB in Comilla and Noakhali, the nearest city from Dhaka. If the chief was not freed recently, they will blow off the newspaper offices and many other important places of the locality.

The letter is handed over to the local police station. Police took steps for special security protection after the letter received. The recent bomb attack in Sylhet, northwest of Bangladesh, multiply the fear of another bomb attack in Chandpur. So, special security was arranged in several offices along with Judges Court and Deputy Commissioner office of the district. Newspaper offices arranged necessary security measures.

Shamim Hossain Galib was transferred from Chandpur town to Joint Interrogation Cell. The case was about the killing of a person in the bomb attack in district Judges Court on 3 October. Magistrate Abul Hasney Md. Humayun Kabir took the confessional statement of Galib.


Rab beats up journalist:
On 21 October, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) men assaulted a journalist for asking the elite force to remove their vehicle parked on the middle of a side street in Meherpur, northwest of Bangladesh. ATIQUR RAHMAN TITU, correspondent of the daily Ajker Kagoj and TV channel ATN Bangla at Meherpur - the west region of Bangladesh, was going home after saying Tarabi prayers from Mosque. His rickshaw had to stop due to a RAB vehicle parked illegally on the road in Manik Para, Meherpur at 9:15 pm.

Titu requested the driver to let the rickshaw pass, but a RAB man asked him about his identity, the journalist told them he is correspondent of the daily Star newspaper. As he replied, "I am a member of public," RAB men led by Assistant Sub-inspector Nazmul Imam surrounded and beat him up with sticks and butt of guns. "At this stage I told them I am journalist, but they did not bother and keep beating," Titu added. He received treatment at Meherpur general hospital.

When contacted with Captain Iftekhar, RAB in-charge of Meherpur, regretted the incident. "My men who set up a check post heard someone yelled at them," he told. "The RAB is not used to hear that kind of arrogant voice," Iftekhar said, adding, "Moreover, he (Titu) should have given his identity to avoid the incident." He said the RAB would take departmental action against the responsible ones after an investigation into the matter. Local journalists of Meherpur arranged a meeting to condemn the incident of journalist torture and sought for the judicial action and punishment of the accused. Rafiqul Alam, a senior journalist and other journalists and correspondents of national and local newspapers were present there. Later, on 22 October Captain Iftekhar, RAB in-charge admitted that the accused six RAB members were find guilty and suspended for this incident.


OC attacked Press Club:
On 27 October, Khalilur Rahman, acting officer in Shahajadpur Police Station and his hired criminals suddenly attacked Shahajadpur Press Club. Mumiduzzaman Zahan, local correspondent of Dainik Jugantor was attacked, beaten and sledged with bad words. Khalilur Rahman made the incidence happen because some reports about the illegal activity like murder, rape, loot, and extortion of the OC and his bad governance were published in Dainik Jugantor a few day ago.

When Shafikuzzaman Shafi, joint convener of Shahajadpur Press Club and journalist Mumiduzzaman Zahan individually were going to file primary complaint at the local police station, police rejected to filed the complaint. So, no police complaint can be filed. For this reason, local journalists fear to attack again in their home or business and they also felt insecurity. On the other hand, influential persons threatened them to file false cases and ordered them not to grow audacious.

On 27 October, the joint convener of the Press Club organised an urgent meeting. In that meeting, the local journalists condemned against the incidence and demanded immediate removal of the Officer in Charge. They also gave ultimatum of seven days for the immediate removal of the Officer in Charge.Otherwise a big work line would be announced if the OC would not removed within these seven days. But now they arranged several work line like protest rally wearing black Badge and submitting memorandum to ministry of home affairs and high officials of the police.

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