Journalist describes being beaten up by men, allegedly Chhatra League members, while covering protests
Journalists covering ongoing student protests were attacked at several spots around Dhanmondi on Sunday, allegedly by Chhatra League men.
Ahmed Deepto, a staff reporter for the Bangla daily Prothom Alo - was admitted to Square Hospital in Dhaka in a bloodied state on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Deepto described a brutal assault that defied all logic.
The hospital’s duty doctor Dr Zakir told the Dhaka Tribune: “Deepto got a deep cut on his left hand and two stitches were needed for this. No fracture was found on x-ray, but the patient has been beaten up heavily, which will lead to severe pain.”
At least 20 other journalists were also attacked in that area, including Associated Press photojournalist AM Ahad. The attackers dragged the Ahad away in front of a group of policemen, who stood passively.
Speaking to this correspondent, the victim said: “I was on assignment. Around 2pm, I reached the Science Laboratory intersection and parked my motorcycle. Suddenly, I saw around 500 Chhatra League men coming out from Dhaka College.
“I got into Dhanmondi 2, where the protesting students had taken position.
“The two sides started throwing brickbats at each other. Then the Chhatra League men gave chase. I ran for cover. But, one of the men hit on my leg, and I fell to the ground.
“My identity card was hanging on my neck, and I told him that I am a journalist, but he kept beating me.
“At one stage, I took shelter in the corner of a house.
“But they came there and dragged me out into the road. At this point 15-20 Chhatra League men had me surrounded, and they started to beat me with rods and hokey sticks. They broke my helmet.
“At one stage, I grabbed one the attackers and begged him to save me. He took me to a house two doors down and sent me in there.
“The people in that house were good people. They gave me some first aid and some medication. Later I was brought here,” he said.