Wednesday, February 20, 2013
News agency bdnews24.com journalist attacked
The first online daily newspaper and news agency in Bangladesh BD NEWS 24 reports that the Senior Correspondent of bdnews24.com Sumon Mahbub was attacked early on Wednesday on his way back home from Shahbagh, the heart of the massive demonstrations against war crimes.
As he was heading home around 1:00am, a private car crashed into his motorcycle near Dhaka Gate in Banani, leaving him seriously injured in hands and legs.
The car sped away as Sumon lay on the ground, writhing in pain.
“This was a planned attack. I have no doubts,” said the 39-year-old journalist.
Sumon had to go to Shahbagh often for professional interests since demonstrations there began on Feb 5 asking for death penalty for all convicted war criminals. He said anyone could have kept an eye on his movements from there.
Calls started flooding in when the polls were going on. Several anonymous people called in the newsroom and gave veiled threats. Numerous emails containing threats also came in.
The spokesperson had said the law enforcers were informed of the threats.
The attack on Sumon came within two days of the online poll on bdnews24.com, in which majority of readers supported a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Sumon Mahbub covers the Prime Minister’s Office and other leading political developments including Parliament.
“I tried to let the car pass by slowing down the motorcycle towards the left of the road. But the car deliberately hit me on an empty road and I was thrown off the bike,” Sumon said.
Sumon, who lives in Uttara, is familiar with this route that he uses every day. “The way it all happened ... there’s no reason to believe this is an accident.”
He said the process of lodging a formal complaint with police was underway.
”Since I have to go to Shahbagh quite often since the protests started, it is easy for anyone to follow my movements and find a pattern to plan a hit,” Sumon said.
Sumon’s father Attorney General Mahbubey Alam often speaks out in favour of a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami. The International Crimes Tribunal has observed and elaborated how the radical party had opposed the nation’s struggle for freedom during the 1971 War of Independence. The tribunal said as a party Jamaat had committed crimes against humanity during the war.
The Attorney General had guided the prosecution and taken part in hearings at the war crimes tribunals where he firmly opposed demands for fresh trials by three top Jamaat leaders – Ghulam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Delwar Hossain Sayedee -- facing charges.
Bangladesh's first internet newspaper has been receiving threats – some veiled, other more brazen – after 85 percent of the readers on the English site and 90 percent on the Bangla site supported banning the Jamaat-e-Islami in a regular opinion poll.
On Sunday, bdnews24.com asked people to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on: “Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed the 1971 Liberation War, has no right to be part of politics in Bangladesh. Do you agree with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's comment in light of countrywide demand seeking ban on Jamaat?”
The Jamaat website has alleged the opinion polls results were manipulated and made a scathing attack on the polls result. A spokesperson for the internet newspaper brushed off the allegations saying they were “false and baseless” since the poll was automated and there was no room for human intervention.