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200 people sued for vandalizing newspaper office in Habiganj

  • Published at 12:09 am April 23rd, 2021

The incident took place on Monday

Police have filed a case against 200 people for vandalizing the daily Dainik Amar Habiganj office in Habiganj.

Habiganj Sadar police station Sub-inspector Abdur Rahim filed the case on Wednesday.

Of the accused, names of 22 individuals were mentioned in the case, while the rest are unknown, Habiganj Sadar police OC Md Masuk Ali told Dhaka Tribune.

Some of the accused are linked with Awami League affiliates. 

Among the named accused are Muhibur Rahman Mahi, general secretary of the Habiganj district unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League; Farhad Hossain Koli, joint secretary of the municipal unit of Awami League; and Fazle Rabbi Russell, office secretary of the municipal unit of Awami League.

According to Dainik Amar Habiganj Editor Sushanto Das Gupta, a group of people vandalized his office on Monday for publishing reports on his newspaper. They also vandalized his father-in-law’s house. 

Sushanto said: "A man named Shah Arju called for a protest against the daily Amar Habiganj on Facebook. Around 200 to 300 youths surrounded Chirakandi and surrounding areas of the district on the day of the incident. Most of the families living in the area are Hindus.”

He said he along with two of his relatives were injured during the attack.

Police fired 11 rounds of tear gas to disperse the attack. Later, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) helped local police bring the situation under control.

OC Md Masuk Ali said Sushanto’s office is 400 feet away from his in-laws’ house. When people attacked him in his office, he took refuge at his in-laws’ house. 

At that time, Suhanto and some of his associates retaliated against the attackers. This continued for two and a half hours, until police brought the situation under control, he said.

The police official said along with the attackers, six of Sushanto’s associates were also named in the case. 

Regarding the allegations, Ataur Rahman Selim, newly elected mayor of Habiganj and president of the district unit of Jubo League, said: "The newspaper has been publishing false news against prominent people of Habiganj. Perhaps that is why the incident took place.

“I have a responsibility as a public representative. So I went to the scene and tried to stop the clash. With a hand mic, I try to stop both sides for the sake of the month of Ramadan,” he added.

Habiganj Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Ullah told Dhaka Tribune that the attack was carried out due to resentment against the newspaper. 

Denying the attack on Hindu residences, he said the matter was under investigation.