A pro-BNP group of journalists have alleged that the National Press Club managing committee has barred BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from entering the club.
Members of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) held a press conference on Monday to protest what they said was an undemocratic move.
BFUJ President Shaukat Mahmud said at the conference that the union had planned an iftar programme on June 21 on the club premises and invited Khaleda to the event.
Ilias Khan, joint secretary of the club managing committee, said that the committee decided not to allow the iftar to take place on the premises during a meeting on Saturday, citing security concerns.
“They said if the state cannot take responsibility for someone's security, neither can they,” he told the Dhaka Tribune over phone.
The pro-BNP journalist, who walked out of the meeting in protest, said the argument was laughable as the BNP chairperson often visits many public places and there has never been an issue of security.
The National Press Club in Dhaka's Paltan is a public building that is open to everyone.
Shaukat Mahmud said the committee's decision would destroy the club's long tradition of democratic practice. He expressed the hope that the committee will reconsider their decision considering the Press Club's image.