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Dhaka Tribune

Clashes at press club

Update : 29 Dec 2013, 06:24 AM

Clashes took place between supporters of Awami League and pro-BNP journalists near the National Press Club premises on Sunday ahead of the Dhaka March programme.

The clashes lasted about twenty minutes before the situation calmed down.

Bangladesh Federal Journalists Union and Dhaka Journalists Union, two pro-BNP platforms, were holding a rally inside Press Club premises sometime around 11:30am.

Clashes ensued when a procession by the Banlgadesh Chhatra League, Jubo League and Muktijoddha League, affiliates of Awami League, were passing by.

The Awami League supporters pounced on the journalists and began pelting stones into Press Club. Retaliating brick chips were also hurled from the inside.

Ramna zone police Additional Commissioner Shibli Noman said an anti-government faction of journalists were holding a programme inside Press Club.

Clashes ensued when excitement arose after the journalists chanted instigative slogans when the pro-government activists were marching by, he said.

Police were frantically trying to bring the situation under control for about twenty minutes, this Dhaka Tribune correspondent reported.

Later, a former press club president, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, currently the prime minister's advisor, condemned the altercation.

“The press club should not be used for politics purposes. This degrades the credibility of the institution,” he told journalists on the scene.

“If one party uses the press club for political purposes it is natural that the other faction will get upset. Excitement is inevitable.”

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