BFIU letter to journalist leaders unexpected, says home minister
On the issue of the bank details of journalist leaders sought by the BFIU, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud has yet again reiterated that the government can ask anyone for their bank details, for any reason and if people are transparent, they have nothing to worry about.
"The bank accounts of MPs, government employees, and leaders of various business organizations are also sought. There’s nothing wrong with asking for anybody's bank account details,” the minister told reporters at the Secretariat on Monday.
Mahmud was responding to a question from reporters at the unveiling ceremony of Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum's (BSRF) magazine "BSRF Barta" at the Information Ministry at the Secretariat, reports UNB.
He said it was not supposed to be published in newspapers that the journalists’ bank account details had been sought.
“It is a question as to why it was published in the media. Another question that’s being raised by the journalists is why the bank accounts had been sought through mentioning the names of organizations. I think if someone is transparent, there’s no reason to be worried about it," he said.
The BFIU of the Bangladesh Bank recently issued letters to the commercial banks asking for details of bank accounts of 11 journalist leaders.
Journalists, meanwhile, have decided to hold massive demonstrations across the country on Thursday, in continuation of their protest against the probe into the bank account details of 11 senior journalists.
Issuing a warning against such a move by the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), the journalist leaders said their movement would continue until the incident was resolved satisfactorily.
'BFIU letter unexpected'
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Monday said that he was trying to find out the details relating to the letter the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) recently sent to commercial banks asking for information on the bank accounts of 11 elected leaders of the journalist community, reports UNB.
“I agree with you that what has happened is unexpected,” Assaduzzman said when a delegation of senior journalists met him at his Secretariat office.
“I think there has been a misunderstanding and I personally believe that the letter should not have been issued in such a way, '' said the minister while talking to reporters after a meeting with the delegation.
The delegation comprised prime minister's ex-media advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, journalist leaders Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Quddus Afrad, Abul Kalam Azad, Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, Omar Faruk and Sajjad Alam Khan.
Asaduzzman said he had talked to all organizations, including National Security Intelligence (NSI), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and Special Branch, Bangladesh Bank, on the issue.
He assured the journalists he would sit again with them to find out more about the issue and take action accordingly.
“Your reputation has been undermined. You are in pain,” the minister said, adding: “It has to be ensured that such incidents do not occur again.”