A municipality mayor has been accused of threatening to kill a reporter for publishing a news report on corruption in Ranishankail upazila of Thakurgaon district.
The accused Alamgir Sarkar, also the upazila unit Juba League president, however, refuted the allegation, saying he just verbally abused the reporter.
Khurshid Alam Shawon, the upazila correspondent of Pritidiner Sangbad, a national Bangla daily, who filed a general diary (GD) with Ranishankail police station regarding the matter, said Alamgir issued the threat over the phone Thursday afternoon.
During the mobile phone conversation, as heard in the voice record, Alamgir threatened him saying: “I will cut you into pieces.”
On January 28, the newspaper published a report on anomalies in a development project in the area, revealing that a 6km-long road stretching from BN High School to Khuniyar Dighi was being constructed using substandard bricks.
In the wake of the report, the Ranishankail municipal mayor reacted furiously, rebuking Shawon badly, ending up with the alleged death threat.
According to Shawon, the accused threatened that he would break his hands and legs too.
“Alamgir has a history of beating up a journalist, for which he was sued later on. But he was cleared of the charge after giving an undertaking that he would never physically assault any reporter again,” Shawon recalled.
When contacted, Alamgir said Shawon had filed the report based on false information.
“I verbally abused him over the phone, but did not threaten to kill him,” he claimed in his defence over the allegation.
Ranishankail police station Officer-in-Charge Md Abdul Mannan said they would take proper measures following an investigation.
Meanwhile, local journalists condemned the matter, with many expressing their deep concern.
Ranishankail Press Club President Mobarak Ali said Alamgir could have protested the report through a newspaper rejoinder.
“Instead of doing so, he threatened to kill one of our colleagues,” the journalist leader said.