Veteran journalist Abed Khan resigned as the editor of Bangla daily Kaler Kantho Thursday night in protest against publishing of unethical and non-journalistic reports in the newspaper.
Kaler Kantho on Friday published a report about Matiur Rahman, editor of the largest circulated Bangla daily Prothom Alo, which Abed Khan believes is an unethical and non-journalistic report.
His resignation came in protest against publishing of the story on Friday's issue of Kaler Kantho ignoring his opposition or disagreement with such report.
He mentioned in his resignation letter that he stepped down from the post on professional and ethical grounds.
“I often protested the pressure to publish news that went against principle and journalism ethics,” Abed Khan told The Daily Star.
Kaler Kantho, a newspaper of East-West Media Group, a sister concern of Bashundhara Group, had earlier published quite a number of false and fabricated reports on Matiur Rahman. Another Bangla newspaper of the group Bangladesh Protidin also carried similar stories on Matiur Rahman simultaneously with Kaler Kantho.
They also organised human chains and used posters and placards to establish their propaganda.
Earlier this year, Bangladesh Press Council gave two separate verdicts against both the Bangla newspapers terming the reports false and fabricated.
In a verdict delivered in April, the council declared false and fabricated the daily Kaler Kantho reports about Matiur Rahman being involved in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack.
Issuing a warning against the newspaper, the council had said the newspaper resorted to “yellow journalism by deliberate lying, fabrication and vilification.”
The council also said Matiur Rahman has been falsely linked to the grenade attack and maligned publicly.
In another verdict delivered in May, the press council warned and reprimanded the editor and publisher of the Bangladesh Protidin for publishing false, fabricated and motivate reports against Matiur.
Abed Khan said he tried to protest against publishing such news in the newspaper earlier.
“After publishing such report the last time, I told the authority that I would resign a day before any unnecessarily imposed report on Matiur Rahman or any kind of non-journalistic report is published in the newspaper,” he said.
As per his earlier warning, Abed Khan announced his resignation Thursday night.
Some journalists of Kaler Kantho said a kind of gloomy atmosphere remained in the newspaper office following Abed's resignation.
An uncomfortable environment created at the newspaper office on Thursday night when the editor's disagreement came to light over publishing the news item on Friday's copy, they said.
The Daily Sun, another sister concern of Bashundhara Group carried similar story on Friday about Matiur Rahman. Some of its journalists told The Daily Star correspondent that they are also embarrassed and working amid an uncomfortable situation in their newspaper house.
Many promises made during the initial stage of the newspaper's inception were not fulfilled, said Abed Khan.
“I did not let the editorial sanctity get violated,” he said, adding that he tried his best, but he stepped down from the post following the failure of repeated attempt to maintain the ethics and standard of journalism.