Journalist stabbed by ‘followers of Quader Mirza’
A local journalist was stabbed and his mother and son were beaten up in Noakhali's Companiganj upazila yesterday.
The family alleged that the attackers were followers of Abdul Quader Mirza, brother of Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.
Mirza's associates, however, claimed that they were not involved in the incident.
The injured are Prashanta Suvash Chandra, 47, his mother Baby Rani, 70, and his son Promit, 20. Suvash is Companiganj upazila correspondent of Dainik Bangladesh Samachar and chief reporter of a local online portal named Chalaman Somoy.
His family members said the journalist wrote some reports which reportedly left Mirza, mayor of Basurhat municipality, irked. They alleged that Mirza at a public rally even threatened that he would break Suvash's leg.
The Daily Star could not verify this claim.
Around 12:45pm yesterday, some 40-45 people, all followers of Mirza, stormed into the journalist's home in Sahajadpur village of Companiganj, said the family.
Some of them beat up Suvash with iron rods and some stabbed him.
As Baby and Promit tried to save the journo, they were beaten as well.
As neighbours gathered outside the house hearing cries for help, the attackers left.
Suvash was rescued and taken to Noakhali General Hospital. His mother and son were at the local health complex.
"We have found critical injury marks on Suvash's head, hands and legs," said Syed Mohiuddin Abdul Azim, resident medical officer of the general hospital.
Companiganj Police Station Officer-in-Charge Saif Uddin Anwar said, "We will take legal action after receiving a written complaint."
This correspondent tried to contact Quader Mirza over cell phone repeatedly yesterday, but he did not pick the calls.
His personal assistant Shadat Shahed said they were not linked with the incident. He said Suvash was a "journalist paid by the Quader Mirza's rival group."
"We have heard that Suvash has come under attack. But we don't know the attackers and we don't have any connection with the incident," said Shahed.
Meanwhile, the upazila administration yesterday enforced section 144 in Basurhat municipality area for 12 hours from 12:00pm as two groups of local AL convened rallies at the same time -- at 3:00pm -- and at the same place -- Rupali Chhattar.
One group is led by Mirza and the other by Mizanur Rahman Badal, organising secretary of upazila unit AL, also a follower of Mohammed Ekramul Karim Chowdhury, lawmaker of Noakhali-4 constituency.
As per section 144, no one was allowed to hold any rally, said Ziaul Haque Mir, upazila nirbahi officer of Companiganj.
Mirza came to limelight after making comments against corruption and misdeeds committed by AL men in Noakhali and Feni a few months ago. He also repeatedly criticised his brother Obaidul Quader and his wife.
This made the political situation in Companiganj volatile triggering multiple deadly clashes.