• Friday, Dec 04, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:05 pm

Journo persecution rises in Comilla

  • Published at 05:19 pm July 13th, 2020
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In the last ten days, at least three journalists came under attack while they were discharging their duties in Debidwar, Muradnagar, and Chandina upazilas

Journalists trying to expose irregularities, injustice, crimes, and many other wrongdoings are facing persecution in Comilla.

The victimized journalists and their family members alleged the perpetrators are getting away with their misdeeds as the authorities are continuously failing to take stern actions against them.

In the last ten days, at least three journalists came under attack while they were discharging their duties in Debidwar, Muradnagar, and Chandina upazilas.

Of the three, Shariful Alam Chowdhury, the general secretary of  Muradnagar Press Club is the worst victim.

On July 4, Darora Union Chairman Shahjahan Mia and his accomplices carried out a heinous attack on Shariful and his family members including his elderly father and mother. 

Shariful’s father, freedom fighter Abdul Matin Chowdhury, said: “My son published news of corruption, irregularities and nepotism against Darora UP Chairman Shahjahan.

"Therefore they have attacked me, my son, and wife."

Shariful was beaten with iron rods to such an extent that he had to be admitted to Dhaka's National Orthopaedic Institute and Hospital. He is currently undergoing treatment there.

"My hands and legs are not working and paining a lot. It's better to die than to go through such pains,”Shariful cried.

After the incident, Abdul Matin filed a case. Police arrested the accused chairman and some of his associates. But the irony of fate is that all the accused managed to secure bail.

On July 8, after Shariful and his family members were attacked, Shahin Alom, the upazila correspondent of Daily Jaijaidin was assaulted in Debidwar upazila.

Shahin was covering a clash that was going on between the supporters of Jaforganj Union Parishad Chairman Khondoker MA Salam and it's member named Ershad.

Sources said Sultan Ahmed, one of the activists of Khondoker MA Salam, orchestrated the attack on Shahin.

In this regard, Shahin filed a written complaint with Debidwar police station. But, police denied that Shahin filed any case.

On July 9, Md Abdul Baten and Md Jakir Hossain, local correspondents of Daily Jugantor and Jaijaidin were assaulted in Chandina upazila.

The authorities of Denim Processing Plant assaulted the two journalists as they reported the rape of a garment worker of the factory. 

The attackers also snatched away their phones and camera, said Abdul Baten.      

However, the garment factory’s Director Md Alamgir Hossain said the journalists published fake reports of rape to tarnish the image of the factory.

But a case was filed regarding the rape incident.

Chandina police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Md Abul Faisal said the attack on the journalists was confirmed through CCTV footage.

Yasmin Rima, president of Journalists Association (Comilla chapter), said: "Due to some conflicting laws, journalists are being persecuted and harassed day after day. The Digital Security Act has especially helped the most in the rise of attacks and persecutions against journalists." 

Contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Nuruzzaman, said: “If any journalist is attacked or persecuted, he/she can file a case against culprits in respective police stations. If journalists  face harassment in filing cases, they can inform the matter to the Deputy Commissioner or Police Super.

"And  I will speak to the Deputy Commissioner about the recent incidents," he added.

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