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March 2006

 

Arrest of warrant issued against Amar Desh Editor, Publisher

The Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) issued an arrest warrant against editor, publisher and a reporter of the daily "Amar Desh" on 17th March. Lawyers SM Nazrul Islam and Royhan Morshed had filed defamation case for jeering at lawyers by saying 'Ainjibi Finejibi' in the cover story of the 'Bhimrul'  a saturday magazine of Amar Desh.

Magistrate of the CMM Court Rafiqul Islam pressed a charge-sheet in absence of the accused Editor Amanullah Kabir, Publisher Md Haashmat Ali and reporter Masud Kamal. Earlier, following the two separate defamation cases filed with the Dhaka CMM Court on August 13 last year for running the report mocking the lawyers the arrest warrant was issued against the accused.

The accused were later granted bail from the same court but they had not appeared before the court on four fixed dates. The time extension was sought from the court under the pretext of different grounds. In the end, on 17 March a chargesheet was pressed against the accused in their absence under the article of 500/501/502/ and 109 of the Criminal Penal Code (CrPC).

 

Terrorist attack on correspondent of Dainik Prothom Alo

On 17 March - a group of terrorists attacked journalist TUHIN AZAM, correspondent of Dainik Prothom Alo, at his dormitory room at the Islamic University, Kushtia - west of the country. Journalist Tuhin is also the President of the Islamic University Press Club. 

According to witnesses, a group of about 6 miscreants stormed into the dormitory room of Tuhin Azam at the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall of the university in the middle of night at about 1am . They forced to leave Tuhin's roommate and began beating Tuhin with rod and sticks. At one stage, Tuhin could manage to get out of room screaming. When his neighbouring students approached towards him, all miscreants left the scene. Neighbours immediately took Tuhin to the university medical centre.

Professor M. Rafiqul Islam and Professor Alimur Rahman, Vice Chancellor and Proctor respectively, visited the medical centre to see the reporter. They have also arranged security guard at the centre. Proctor assured journalists that the perpetrators would be punished.

To investigate the incident a committee is formed that convened by Dr. Sheikh Rezaul Karim, House Tutor of the hall and assistant Professor of Bangla Department. They ordered to submit their report in four days.

Meanwhile, a repeated attempt to contact journalist Tuhin Azam failed. Sources said from Kushtia that Tuhin Azam is missing from the campus since this afternoon. No one could ever confirm his whereabouts. Other journalists also found extremely tightlipped on this matter. Source adds that Islamic Chatra Shibir (student wing of Jamaat e Islami) might be involved with the incident. This group dominates the student politics at the university for long.

he university press club holds a protest meeting on 18 March at the campus. They demanded immediate and exemplary punishment of the attackers there and also to ensure security for newsmen in the campus. Folow-up on attempt to murder Prothom Alo reporter Nur Siddique: Another investigation body formed

19 March: The Jahangirnagar University administration has formed an additional investigation committee for the attempt to murder incident of Nur Siddique - the university correspondent for the Daily Prothom Alo. The committee will sit next 21 March for their first meeting.

The committee is formed on last Thursday, which Professor Abul Kashem Majumder of Department of Government & Politics will lead. The other members of the committee are: Professor Afsar Ahmed, Professor A T M Atiqur Rahman and Mafruhi Sattar.

Meanwhile, the first four-member investigation committee led by Professor Lutful Hye Jami - Proctor of Al-Beruni Hall, is also working on the same case, which was formed immediate after the incident. It has become very unclear to all why a new committee has been formed.

Professor Afsar Ahmed expresses his surprise in forming the new committee two weeks after the incident occurred in the university. He says this committee has created curiosity. He said his plans to refuse the committee. The other member of the committee Professor Atiqur Rahman says the matter is sensitive. So we want to uncover the real truth. Professor Mafruhi Sattar says pointing out on a committee member's decision to stay away of the committee, if anyone thinks this matter less important then it's very regretting.

The committee convenor Professor Abul Kashem Majumder says, 'we want to unmask the culprits. We want everyone's cooperation'. Journalist Nur Siddique, Daily Prothom Alo correspondent for the Jahangirnagar University, was attempted to kill by setting fire at his dormitory room # 114 of Al- Beruni Hall of the university on 1 March midnight keeping his door locked from outside. But he survived unhurt. the university administration filed a case with the Ashulia Police after a complaint made by Nur Siddique to them.

 

Follow-up: Journalist Zahid Al Amin, tortured in Chittagong

Journalist Zahid Al Amin is looking for a safe place for him. After the brutal torture on the journalist and repeated threat given to him by the culprits, he was compelled to quit Chittagong , his first work place. The victim is currently working in The Bangladesh Observer at its central office in Dhaka . Yet he failed to escape the menace.

Following the continued threats over telephone, the criminal attempted to kidnap Zahid Al Amin on his way to office on Wednesday evening. Tanvir Habib Tanna, the mastermind of the journalist assault case in Chittagong led the armed criminals.

As the miscreants tried to abduct Al Amin on Wednesday, he raised alarm for help. Hearing the hue and cry, locals rushed to the spot and the miscreants fled the scene. After the incident, Zahid Al Amin registered a General Diary (GD) with Motijheel police station in this connection.

The miscreants asked him to withdraw the case filed against them in Chittagong , or face dire consequences. Meanwhile, it was learnt that the charge sheet of the case regarding assault on Zahid Al Amin at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) by BNP-Jamaat supported doctors and the hospital employees had not been submitted even after six months of the incident.

Being influenced by political musclemen, the police reportedly have been lingering the process of the case and trying to destroy the merit of the case with a view to saving the culprits.

The intern doctors and hospital employees assaulted Zahid Al Amin, a newsman of the daily Naya Diganta, when he went to the Ward No-25 (Orthopedics) of Chittagong Medical College Hospital to cover the news of a burnt case at about 4:00 pm on July 21, 2005 .

The attackers not only obstructed the reporter to go inside the ward, but also started assaulting him physically confining to a room in the hospital. Intern doctors Tanvir Habib Tanna, Farah Chowdhury, Moshiur Rahman Dipu and ward boy Shawkat were among others who beat him mercilessly for more than two hours.

Meanwhile, Chittagong Union of Journalists (CUJ), Chittagong Metropolitan Union of Journalists (CMUJ), doctors of the CMCH and different Human Rights related bodies investigated into the incident and found the concerned intern doctors and the hospital employees guilty. later, an agreement was signed between the leaders of the CMUJ and CUJ on July 29 where former commerce minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury assured to punish the culprits.

 

Terrors attacked Sharishabari Press Club, journalists injured

On 3 March - Friday, a group of terrorists stormed into the Sharishabari Press Club at 11am to foil a press conference of the Awami League - the opposition party in the parliament. They also injured at least 25 people including journalists. Sharishabari is a sub-district of Jamalpur - a city in the north of the capital Dhaka .

The group of terrorists led by a Jubodal (youth wing of BNP) leader beaten Awamil League leaders, journalists with sharp object where joint convenor of Awami League Faruk Hossain was severely injured. He was brought to Dhaka for better treatment. They destroyed 4 motorbikes of 4 journalists including 3 table, 25 chairs and other furnitures. They also shots 3 rounds of bullets during ransacking the press club.

The injured journalists are: Shukanto Saha (Daily Prothom Alo), Zulfiker Rahman (Ajker Kagoj), Dulal Hossain (Bhorer Kagoj), Ibrahim Hossain Lebu (Naya Diganto), Faruk Hossain Feroz (Amader Shomoy), Masudur Rahman Chowdhury (Daily Pollir Alo), Mizanur Rahman (Daily Sangram), Biplob (Manabzamin), Jakaria Jahangir (Deshbangla), Solaiman Hossain (Shamokal) and M A Rouf (Daily Jahan).

Sharishabari Press Club president Ibrahim Hossain Lebu says that they narrowly survived from severe attack. Jamalpur Press Club president Nurul Alam Siddiqui and general secretary Lutfar Rahman strongly protested the attack and demanded punishment of the culprits.

Local BNP leader, Member of Parliament and State Minister for Finance Maj. Gen. Muhammad Anowarul Kabir Talukder (Rtd.) also strongly objected the incident. But, Jubodal leader Shahin rejected the allegation.

Local Awami League leader Abdul Malek says that BNP even did not dare to attack in the press club to foil our party programme. Sharishabari (Paurashabha) City Council Chairman Faridul Kabir Talukder Shamim initiated a mutual understanding between journalists and BNP activists today (5 March) saying sorry and giving word to compensate the damage of journalist's motorbikes. It is also need to report that Faridul Kabir Talukder Shamim is the younger brother of the local Member of Parliament Maj. Gen. Muhammad Anowarul Kabir Talukder (Rtd.).

 

Attempt to kill reporter in JU

On 1 March, night, a gang of unidentified terrorists set fire in the dormitory room of the university reporter of Daily Prothom Alo NUR SIDDIQUE in the Jahangirnagar University in Savar - near the capital Dhaka. Terrorists also locked the door of the room from outside to block the reporter's any rescue attempt.

The fire engulfed half of the room that filled with smoke, suffocating Nur but he found his room door lock to get out immediately.

The reporter, however, did not get any burn injury and was rescued by his other dorm-mates once attackers left the scene. 'They attacked me because of their dissatisfaction on my work', says Nur to the correspondent. But, Nur could not identify any of them, as it was as dark as at 2am . He assumes 4/5 of his reports in last February might disturb the campus based student wing of the ruling party.

Nur made a written complaint with the Vice-Chancellor of the university on the same day. A police case was filed with the Ashulia Police Station as the university authority wanted to put general complaints. The Vice-Chancellor said The Daily Star that they are taking the matter very seriously. Nur Siddiqui says quoting the investigating officer of the case Mokhlesur Rahman that they are collecting primary information on the incident and will prepare a final report very soon.

Jahangirnagar University (JU) Journalists Association (JUJA) president S M Nuruzzaman says over cell phone, 'we would monitor the investigation team's steps, and then we would declare our further protest programme'.

'I don't think this attack is for any personal conflict, this is definitely related to his profession,' says JUJA president Nuruzzaman - also correspondent for Daily Manabzamin. He also adds that this incident is different to other incidents on journalists in this university like attack on Kuntal Roy and Alamgir Swapan of Daily Janakantha, Imran Hossain Emon of The Daily Star earlier.

Nur Siddiqui says that torture on journalists seems very regular in this university whenever their reports hit student leaders. Kuntal Roy, correspondent of Daily Janakantha was beaten severely on 17 August 2005 . Earlier, Daily Janakantha's previous reporter of the university Alamgir Swapan was beaten in 2005. Nur Siddiqui had also received death threat at that time. These are the recent examples.

JU Journalists Association, JU Teachers' Association and others have already protested the heinous attempt on a reporter organising human chain, rally, protest meeting at the university.

A four-member team is formed from the dormitory management to investigate the incident. The members are: Lutful Hye Jami, Provost of the Al- Beruni Hall (dormitory), Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, Assistant Proctor, Ashit Baran Pal, Warden of Al Beruni Hall, Ayub Khan, Warden of Al Beruni Hall.

The chief of the investigation team Lutful Hye Jami says they would start working from March 6. They would also try to find out the culprits and motive of the attack after going through a series of interviews.

his correspondent found the cell phone of the Vice Chancellor of university off to get his comments in this regard.



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