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Dhaka Tribune

Awami League leaders slam Prothom Alo's news report as fabricated

Jubo Mohila League forms human chain and organizes protest rally

Update : 30 Mar 2023, 10:04 PM

Awami League leaders have denounced the Dhaka-based newspaper Prothom Alo's news which was published on March 26, and termed the headline and picture as “fabricated” and “ill-motivated.”

They have also criticized the role of some international media and said it was not news related to the price hike, but was fabricated news that was produced by quoting a seven-year-old child without any consent from his parents.  

The Awami League leaders made these comments at a human chain and protest rally at Dhanmondi 32 on Thursday, which were arranged by the Jubo Mohila League, the youth women front of the Awami League, against “the lies and conspiracies of Prothom Alo”.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's special assistant and Office Secretary of Awami League Barrister Biplab Barua said: “Creating a fake news headline cannot be a mere crime or mistake. This is not the first time this newspaper has committed such a mistake. If there was a media monitoring body in the country, they would have constituted an impartial investigation committee to see how the newspaper has shamelessly been disseminating false and politically misguided news every day, every year.”

 Dhaka Tribune

“What did they try to imply on Independence Day? Freedom to consume meat? Does the child even have the age or ability to make the kind of words that were used in the headline?” added Barua.

He also asked whether or not the statement was even uttered by someone.

Stating that there is a domestic and foreign conspiracy centered around the upcoming national elections, he said that some vested quarters want to bring in an unelected, unconstitutional government by creating such an environment.

Tarana Halim, a former state minister and central working committee member of the Awami League, said: "The newspaper or journalist who reported this news by handing Tk10 to a child has exploited the child. It is a criminal offence.”

“You taught this child early in life that his sense of worth can be bought by money. Taught him that it was no big deal to be tempted by money. He was taught that one can mortgage one's conscience in exchange for money. Money is the root of all evil. In exchange for money, you can turn into ashes,” she added.

Awami League central working committee member Mohammad A Arafat said: “In 1974 we experienced the same kind of news when a deaf and mentally challenged woman wearing a fishing net was used in a picture to showcase the state of poverty. And now we are observing the same sort of news, a speech from a seven-year-old child, to illustrate the economic condition of Bangladesh.” 

 Dhaka Tribune

“These all are violations of human rights and child rights and there is no link with the price hike in this ill-motivated news published by the Prothom Alo,” he added.   

He questioned the role of some international media and said: “Based on a seven-year-old child's fabricated statements some international media are also producing news that Bangladesh has arrested a journalist because he has reported on the price hike, which is not the objective of journalism at all.”

Daisy Sarwar, president of the Jubo Mohila League, presided over the programme, with Sharmin Sultana Lily, the general secretary, conducting it. Hundreds of women activists of the ruling party participated in the human chain and protest rally.

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