Vol. 5 Num 86 Sat. August 21, 2004  
Front Page

Threat to Prothom Alo condemned

Different political, social and cultural organisations yesterday condemned the extremist activities against the Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

Thousands of angry teachers and students of Kowmi Madrasas on August 19 staged demonstration demanding cancellation of the declaration of the daily Prothom Alo and burnt copies of the daily in front of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. They ransacked the billboards of the Prothom Alo and The Daily Star at Zero Point and Dainik Bangla intersections.

Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) yesterday voiced strong disapproval of the extreme attitude that the teachers and students of Kowmi Madrasa showed in a demonstration demanding cancellation of the declaration of the Prothom Alo.

In a joint statement, leaders of the BFUJ and eight other journalists' unions said the teachers and students of madrasas could opt for legal action against the newspaper if there were anything wrong with the daily.

The BFUJ also expressed deep concern over the government's being indifferent to such destructive activities by the Islamic zealots.

Inactivity of the government raises question whether the government itself is conspiring to strangle the free press by allowing free rein to the religious bigots, the BFUJ press release added.

BFUJ President Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Secreatry General Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul signed the statement. Dhaka Journalists' Union President Altaf Mahmud, General Secretary Shah Alamgir, Chittagong Journalists' Union President Mustak Ahmed and General Secretary Shahid ul Alam, Khulna Journalists' Union President MM Zahid Hossain and General Secretary Shaheb Ali, Jessore Journalists' Union President Shajed Rahman and General Secretary Moinul Haq, Dinajpur Journalists' Union President Swarup Kumar Baksi Bachhu and General Secretary Shahin ul Islam,Rajshahi Journalists' Union President Mustafizur Rahman and General Secretary Zaminur Rahman Dulal,Bogra Journalists' Union President AHM Akhtaruzzaman and General Secretary Mahmudur Rahman and Mymensingh Journalists' Union President Kazi Yaseen and General Secretary Ataul Karim were the other signatories.

Bangladesh Workers Party at its central committee meeting expressed concern over the activities of the fanatics against the Prothom Alo.

The party will also organise a press conference at Asad Auditorium today at 12 noon in protest at the August 19 incident, press release said.

Sammilito Samajik Andolon strongly condemned the teachers and students of Kowmi Madrasas for their extreme and deplorable stance against Prothom Alo.

The leaders of the organisation demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the culprits to uphold the freedom of the press, a press release said.

President of the Sammilito Sangskritik Jote Nasir Uddin Yusuf said people should come forward to resist the religious extremists.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal also condemned the threats to shut down Prothom Alo by the teachers and students of Kowmi madrasas.