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April 2006

 

Journalist's seminar forcibly foiled, editors harassed

A journalists seminar foiled by a group of musclemen of the local BNP leader and Member of Parliament Manjurul Ahsan Munshi on13 April 2006 - Thursday in Debidwar - a subdistrict of Comilla - east of the capital Dhaka.

The day-long seminar was organised by the Debidwar Press Club on 'Torture against Journalists in home and abroad and, remedy'.

The chief editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Gaziul Hassan Khan was the chief guest of the seminar. Eminent senior journalists from Dhaka like Ekramullah Hil Kafi, vice president of Comilla Journalists' Forum in Dhaka, Saiful Islam Talukder, special correspondent of Daily Amader Shomoy, Syed Akhter Yusuf, special correspondent of Daily Ittefaq, Zakaria Kajol, city editor of Daily Inqilab, Nayeemul Islam Khan, editor of Daily Amader Shomoy and Rashed Chowdhury, editor of BDNews24 and Weekly Ekattur was present there as special guests.

  The BNP leader firstly threatened an owner of a centre where the seminar should take place. Later, Debidwar Press Club members arranged the seminar in front of the club. When all journalists guests took their sit in the panel for discussion, a 12-15 people group forcibly came in and push all audience to leave the place at once. They also forced all guests to leave the locality on that very moment. They were telling that the organiser had no prior permission from them to arrange this programme. This is also to inform that they are not any legislative body to inform about any programme before organising anything.

At some point Nayeemul Islam Khan, editor of Daily Amader Shomoy tried to talk to them to convince and to run the programme, but they also harassed him to leave.

Manjurul Ahsan Munshi MP, however, phoned Nayeemul Islam Khan, editor of Daily Amader Shomoy to ask why he was not informed about the programme. The MP said that he did not get any prior notice or information about the programme. The MP also asked Nayeem why he did not ask the MP to come to that place or about the seminar. He also phoned BSS Chief Editor Gaziul Hassan Khan to ask the same. Both of them strongly protested the hooliganism that took place which was clearly directed by the MP.

The terrorists took away all chairs, tables, microphones, etc to foil the programme. They misbehaved with all invited senior journalists for coming to attend such seminar.

Other local journalists were trying to reach the police super of Comilla for help. His cell phone was turned off. Local journalists said that they duly informed the police super about the programme. The police station was a block away and 10-15 policemen were also deployed in the spot but they were just audience.

The MP, who was convicted six months imprisonment in a civil court few days back, harassed journalists ABM Atiqur Rahman Bashar – Debidwar Press Club and correspondent for the Daily Prothom Alo. Bashar, last January, had to stay away of home and later he granted bail from the High Court.

 

 

Police attack on Pressmen in Chittagong : 17 injured

Chittagong Divisional Cricket Stadium turned into a battlefield when cops swooped on sports journalists without provocation here in the port city – Chittagong, before beginning and lunch break of the second and final Test between the host country Bangladesh and Australian national cricket team.

More than 17 journalists suffered wounds, three of them critically, in the hour-long swoop. A woman photojournalist of the AFP (Agence France Press) Godhuly also accused some of the cops of misconduct.

The cops during their action reportedly damaged three digital motion cameras. An expensive TV camera owned by the newly launched private television channel RTV was also damaged.

The sports journalists covering the event in an urgent meeting decided to boycott the Test match and quit the press box at about 2:10 p.m.

The police swoop on the unarmed sports writers has added a black chapter in the history of the country's cricket arena. It had made the international sports journalists and sports celebrities stunt.

The incident not only polluted the healthy environment at the stadium but also deferred the match by 15 and 10 minutes in the beginning and during the lunch breaks respectively.

Cops led by sergeant Anwar locked into wrangling with the Senior Staff Photographer of the daily Prothom Alo, a leading Bangla daily, Shamsul Haq Tenku over a trifling matter in the morning.

The cops at a stage assaulted Tinku physically and humiliated Godhuly, of the AFP, when she raised voice against the police assault near the main entrance of the stadium.

Sports journalists gathered here in the port city to cover the event sharply reacted the incident and staged a demonstration on the midfield demanding immediate punishment of the culprit Sergeant Anwar.

Officials of Bangladesh Cricket Control Board (BCCB), match referee and Pakistani cricket celebrity Wasim Akram went to the demonstrating newsmen and pledged action against the cops responsible for the incident.

The BCCB officials could not go by their pledge and the culprit Sergeant Anwar was not even brought before the assaulted newsmen for apology. It made the journalists angry who then went to the midfield for staging demonstration for second time.

The situation went out of control when cops suddenly attacked the journalists. Deputy Commissioner (DC-Port) Ali Akbar Khan allegedly ordered the cops for clubbing the demonstrating journalists.

All the journalists rushed to the dressing room of the host cricket team and the match referee to escape the indiscriminate clubbing.

Senior sports reporter of the daily Jugantor Saidur Rahman Shameem, Aunurop Titu of Daily Purbakone, Ruhul Amin Rana of Daily Jai Jai Din and Abhijit of the Daily Khobarpatra were among the critically wounded journalists.

The other injured journalists were identified as Abu Raihan (BDNEWS24), Rajesh Chakrabarti (Daily Shamokal), Ujjal Dhar (Daily Naya Digonta), Tuhin (RTV) Zahid Hossain (The Independent), Zafar Iqbal (Daily Sangram), Pronob Ball (Daily Prothom Alo), Jahurul Haque , 65, (Dainik Ajj Kall in Kolkata) and Aghor Mondol (Channel-I).

Police even did not excuse Jahurul Haque who is 65 years age and about 45 years serving as press photographer.

The injured were taken to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital and different private clinics in the city for treatment. Physicians who have been taking care of Aunurop Titu said, “The condition of Aunurop is critical. He might have to undergo a surgery.”

Leaders of Sports Writers Association (SWA), Chittagong Sports Journalists Association (CSJA), Chittagong Union of Journalists and other journalists' bodies protested the attacks and demanded exemplarily punishment of the policemen responsible for the incident.

Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) president Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury also condemned the barbarian attack on press photographers and demanded immediate job termination of all policemen took part in it. They staged a demonstration in front of National Press Club this morning.

Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DUJ), Crime Reporters' Association gave ultimatum to terminate accused policemen in 24 hours otherwise they would declare further protest programmes. They also declared a ‘pen-off' programme on 19 April 2006 countrywide for first half of the day. Bangladesh Photo Journalists' Association also protested the heinous attack and demanded justice to the authority.

wami League leaders Tofael Ahmed, Abdur Razzak and other political leaders also join the demonstration with journalists in front of the National Press Club.



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