Stay away from cops: Tuku advises journos

The Daily Star May 30, 2012

State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday advised journalists to keep a “safe distance” from police while collecting news.

He preferred the advice when newsmen asked him about the recent assault on journalists, including three photojournalists of the Prothom Alo by police.

“I will tell my journalist friends that they can avoid such unwanted incidents if they collect news or take photos through keeping a safe distance [from police]. I hope you [journalists] will consider it,” Channel i quoted Tuku as saying.

He was talking to reporters after attending a seminar titled “Militancy and Hartal: Obstacle to Building a Prosperous Country” at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity organised by Digital Bangladesh Forum.

Expressing shock over the criminal attack on the journalists of bdnews24.com, the junior minister said investigation was on and the attackers would certainly be captured.

Miscreants stabbed two journalists of the online news portal and injured several others on the ground floor of its office in the capital’s Mohakhali on Monday night.

Earlier on May 26, policemen assaulted three on-duty photojournalists of Prothom Alo, hurled expletives at them and took away their cameras at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city.

পুলিশ থেকে নিরাপদ দূরত্বে থেকে সংবাদ সংগ্রহ করুন–প্রথম আলো

স্বরাষ্ট্র প্রতিমন্ত্রী শামসুল হক টুকু সাংবাদিকদের পুলিশ থেকে নিরাপদ দূরত্বে অবস্থান করে সংবাদ সংগ্রহের পরামর্শ দিয়েছেন।

পুলিশের হাতে প্রথম আলোর তিন ফটোসাংবাদিকসহ সব সাংবাদিক নির্যাতনের ব্যাপারে গতকাল মঙ্গলবার এক প্রশ্নের জবাবে আইনশৃঙ্খলা রক্ষাকারী বাহিনীর দায়িত্ব পালনের সময় সাংবাদিকদের একটু দূরে থাকার পরামর্শ দেন তিনি।

প্রতিমন্ত্রী ঢাকা রিপোর্টার্স ইউনিটিতে এক সেমিনারে বক্তৃতা দেওয়ার পর সাংবাদিকদের মুখোমুখি হন।

অনলাইন সংবাদ সংস্থা বিডিনিউজ টোয়েন্টিফোর ডট কম কর্মীদের ওপর সন্ত্রাসীদের হামলা প্রসঙ্গে সাংবাদিকদের প্রশ্নের জবাবে দুঃখ প্রকাশ করে স্বরাষ্ট্র প্রতিমন্ত্রী বলেন, ‘এ ধরনের ঘটনা কারোরই কাম্য নয়। তদন্ত চলছে। এ ঘটনায় জড়িতদের বিরুদ্ধে আইনগত ব্যবস্থা নেওয়া হবে।’

ডিজিটাল বাংলাদেশ ফোরাম আয়োজিত ‘জঙ্গিবাদ ও হরতাল: সমৃদ্ধ দেশ গড়ার অন্তরায়’ শীর্ষক সেমিনারে স্বরাষ্ট্র প্রতিমন্ত্রী বলেন, হরতাল মানুষের গণতান্ত্রিক অধিকার আদায়ের একমাত্র অস্ত্র। কারণ জনগণ যখন তার মৌলিক অধিকার হারিয়ে ফেলে, তখন হরতালের মাধ্যমে তাদের অধিকার প্রতিষ্ঠা করতে হয়। আওয়ামী লীগ হরতালকে জনগণের অধিকার আদায়ের অস্ত্র হিসেবে ব্যবহার করেছিল।

কিন্তু বিরোধী দল এই অস্ত্রের অপব্যবহার করেছে। এই হাতিয়ারকে ভোঁতা ও অকার্যকর করেছে। তিনি অভিযোগ করেন, ‘বর্তমানে হরতাল আর মানুষের অধিকার আদায়ে ব্যবহার করা হচ্ছে না। হরতাল আর হরতাল নেই, বিরোধী দল এটাকে ভয়তালে পরিণত করেছে। তারা হরতালের নামে গাড়ি পুড়িয়ে মানুষ হত্যা করছে। এটার বিরুদ্ধে শুধু আইনশৃঙ্খলা রক্ষাকারী বাহিনী নয়, গণতন্ত্রকামী সব মানুষকে সোচ্চার হতে হবে।’

Assault on Lensmen

HC orders probe, summons 3 cops

3 held over attack on bdnews staff

The High Court yesterday ordered a judicial probe into the police attack on Prothom Alo photojournalists and also summoned three policemen to appear before it on June 5 in this connection.

The court asked the law secretary to immediately form a committee headed by a law ministry officer, not below the rank of deputy secretary, to investigate the incident and submit a report by July 15.

Meanwhile, three youths were arrested yesterday in connection with Monday night’s attack on journalists of bdnews24.com.

Newsmen of different media houses yesterday issued a six-day ultimatum to the government for the arrest of the miscreants and policemen involved in the incidents.

ATTACK ON LENS MEN
In response to a writ petition, the HC said Shahidul Islam, assistant commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Tejgaon division; Kabir Ahmed, officer-in-charge (investigation), and Zakir Hossain Mollah, OC (admin) of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station, would have to appear before the court by 10:30am on June 5 to explain their roles in the attack.

On May 26, policemen assaulted photojournalists Khaled Sarkar, Sajid Hossain and Zahidul Karim at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital and took away their cameras.

The court ordered the inspector general of police (IGP) to find out in 48 hours whether OC Kabir had been involved in assaulting the journalists.

The IGP has to talk to the victims and witnesses to the incident, the court said as it directed the police chief to take legal action against Kabir if he was found responsible.

The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim also directed the IGP to compel the policemen, who had tortured the photojournalists, to pay for their treatment. The IGP has to submit a compliance report to the court by June 14.

The bench also issued a rule upon the authorities concerned to explain in three weeks why Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police should not be directed to pay compensation to the injured and why their failure to record a case following the incident should not be declared illegal.

The authorities also have to explain why they should not be directed to take punitive action against the police personnel involved.

The writ petition was filed by Mashudul Haque, secretary of Law Reporters’ Forum, as public interest litigation seeking necessary orders.

During the hearing on the petition, Manzill Murshid, the petitioner’s counsel, told the court that some police personnel had been suspended after the incident but that was not proportionate to their deeds since they would get salaries throughout the suspension period.

In response to Justice Shamsuddin’s observation that the IGP was reportedly sorry over the incident, Manzill said there was no scope for regret in the law after an offence.

The counsel also said police had received the incident as an allegation but had not filed a case.

Deputy Attorney General ABM Altaf Hossain represented the government.

ARRESTS IN BDNEWS CASE
Banani police arrested Jahidul Islam Sourav, 19, Elias Master Sumon, 22, and Mir Hossain, 26, yesterday afternoon in connection with the attack at the office of bdnews24.com the previous night, Masudur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner of DMP (media and community service) told The Daily Star.

They are residents of Mohakhali from where police picked them up.

Sourav claimed to be a student of Titumir College.

He also claimed to be a worker of Jubo League, a pro-Awami League youth wing.

But Fazlul Haque Atique, assistant office secretary of Jubo League, and Zakir Hossain Babul, organising secretary of Jubo League (Dhaka city, north), told The Daily Star last night they were yet to ascertain his claim about the membership.

The two other arrestees are drug addicts, police said.

Earlier in the day, Shahidul Islam, an official of Human Resources Department of bdnews24.com, filed a case with Banani Police Station, accusing at least 15 people of having been behind the attack.

Miscreants on Monday stormed into the media office at Mohakhali and injured several journalists. Of them, two received severe injuries.

Sourov admitted to his involvement in the attack at a press conference at Media and Community Service’s office in the capital yesterday. The two other arrestees, however, denied attacking the journalists.

Sourov said he had had a scuffle with Ruhul Amin, the online news provider’s office assistant, in front of the office building. Then he over the phone called in his friends Imran, Yakub and Saddam.

Grouped together, they made an attack on Ruhul, the arrestee said, adding hearing Ruhul scream, other staff and newsmen rushed to the spot. The office staff caught Sourov and confined him to the ground floor.

After a while, his other accomplices stormed into the building and freed him.

Officer-in-charge Mamunur Rashid of Banani Police Station told The Daily Star that police would produce the arrestees today before a Dhaka Court with a remand prayer to extract information from them about the others involved.

Injured sub-editor Newaz Mohammed Rifaat and reporter Salahuddin Wahid Pritom have been undergoing treatment at United Hospital in Dhaka.

They are now out of danger, according to the online news outlet.