Vol. 5 Num 557 Tue. December 20, 2005  
Front Page

Families of slain journos question govt sincerity

The government, which is taking initiatives to control the press, will not bring the killers of journalists to justice, alleged the victims' families yesterday.

Fourteen journalists including Manik Saha and Humayun Kabir Balu in Khulna, Dipankar Chakrabarty in Bogra and Gautam Das in Faridpur were killed during this government's tenure.

The government's lack of sincerity and negligence of police are encouraging the real culprits, resulting in the murder of one after another journalist, who wrote against them, the families said.

Bangladesh has become a dangerous place for journalists, they told a press conference organised by Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) at the Jatiya Press Club after a convention against "Repression on Journalists".

The families also said the trials of journalist murder cases are being delayed due to witnesses' false testimony and lack of fair probes.

Besides, the victims' families are repeatedly getting death threats for withdrawal of the cases.

They alleged police and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) personnel are manoeuvring the cases for bribes and accusing those who protest the murders.

"No trials have been complete during the alliance government. What can we expect from the BNP-Jamaat-led government when they are initiating amendment to the Press Council Act?" said BFUJ General Secretary Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul.

A draft of the amendment has already been prepared, he added while conducting the press conference.

"My father became the target of criminals as he identified the killers of journalist Manik Saha through his writing and wanted to bring them to justice," said Asif Kabir, son of slain journalist Humayun Kabir Balu.

Dainik Janmabhumi editor Humayun Kabir Balu was killed in a bomb attack in front of his Khulna office on June 27 last year.

Asif, who was also injured in the blast, said the probe into his father's murder is still incomplete and the masterminds are not yet identified even after one and a half years.

Balaram Das, father of slain journalist Gautam Das said criminals killed his son as he wrote against illegal tender of a Faridpur road construction. Gautam, staff reporter of Dainik Samakal, was strangled in his office on November 17.

Aniruddha Chakraborty, son of slain journalist Dipankar Chakraborty, said they do not want a trial in the face of death threats by the killers.

Widows of slain journalists Dipankar Chakraborty, left, and Manik Saha break down at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday. PHOTO: STAR