Cop 'assaults' journalist in Rajshahi
A police official yesterday allegedly assaulted a senior journalist, forced him into the police van and kept him in custody at Rajpara Police Station while he was on duty.
Saidur Rahman, local correspondent of Bhorer Kagoj and general secretary of Rajshahi Press Club, was however released later in the afternoon after the intervention of local journalists and public representatives.
Sub Inspector Mahbubur Rahman of the police station, who allegedly carried out the assault, was closed to police lines yesterday evening after local journalists formed a human chain in the city protesting the incident and filed complaints to the police commissioner.
The incident happened at 12:00pm, when Saidur went near TB Clinic at Kazihata area following the call of a local resident. He noticed chaos in front of the house of the resident who was not at the scene.
Saidur called the officer-in-charge of Rajpara police station who told him that they were arranging a negotiation between two neighbours who were in a feud over building construction.
“As soon as I cut the telephone line, the police official came in front of me and began hurling abuses for making the call,” says Saidur Rahman. “At one stage, he started physically assaulting me and took me to the station,” he added.
Saidur alleged that he was threatened of death by crossfire. He also said the police official told him that “the police kept the government alive, and therefore, no one in the government could save him from the police”.
He was released from the station at 2:00pm, said Hafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of the station. “No more than a verbal argument had occurred between the police official and the journalist,” he said.
He added that the allegation of assault was false.
However, the OC admitted that Saidur was taken to the police station and kept in custody for some time, as he argued with the police and spoke in favour of the two feuding groups at the scene.
SI Mahbub, however, could not be reached over phone as his phone was switched off.
Local journalists burst into protests following the incident and formed a human chain at Shaheb Bazar Zero point demanding the removal of SI Mahbubur Rahman from Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.