It remains a dangerous time for journalists in Bangladesh, as violence against them continues. Only in the latest chapter, it was not a fight between police and journalists, but rather, amongst the journalists themselves.
The Daily Star reported on Monday, June 25th, 2012 that newsmen from ATN Bangla, a private TV channel, attacked Jahangir Alam Prodhan, a journalist for the Bangla daily Kaler Kantha. Prodhan, along with other journalists of variousmedia organizations, formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Monday, where they demanded that the chairman of ATN Bangla, Mahfuzur Rahman, be arrested. Soon after, personnel from ATN Banlga retaliated against Prodhan with violence.
What would cause such a reaction? During his speech at the club, Prodhan accused Rahman of the murders of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Mehrun Runi, who were brutally killed in their home on February 11th of this year. Sagar was a news editor at Maasranga, and Runi was the senior reporter at ATN Bangla. Accusations began to surface after a press conference in London on May 30th, where Rahman had stated that “Sagar and Runi were victims of an extra-marital affair,”and that he possessed video footage containing clues as to the motive behind their murders.
Rahman has since apologized for his comments on the murder of Sagar and Runi, but journalists of other organizationscontinue to point an accusatory finger in his direction.
Following the dispute, ATN Bangla denied that their personnel attacked Prodhan, and that it was in fact their journalists who were attacked. Eyewitnesses however, claim the opposite. Although Rahman was not arrested, the quarrel has prompted further investigation of the murders of Sagar and Runi. Even though Bangladeshi journalists can’t seem to agree, they appear to be inadvertently doing their job – bringing to the surface what some would prefer to stay buried.
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