Sand lifters beat up a journalist and tied him to a tree when he went to collect information on a story of sand and stone lifting by destroying the banks of the Jadukata in Sunamganj's Tahirpur upazila yesterday.
Kamal Hossain is the upazila correspondent of Bangla Daily Sangbad and organising secretary of the upazila press club. He was undergoing treatment at Tahirpur Upazila Health Complex.
Quoting him, local journalist Abir Hasan Manik said Kamal went to collect information to prepare a report on the illegal sand and stone lifting in Ghagotia village around 1:30pm.
Locals said Mahmudul Islam, Deen Islam and Rois Uddin of Ghagotia village started beating up the journalist first and then others joined.
The Daily Star obtained a video clip where he is seen tied to a tree at a local bazar. He is also seen requesting them to free him.
Babul Akter, assistant superintendent (Tahirpur circle) of Sunamganj police, said on information, a team from Badaghat police outpost went to the area, rescued the journalist and admitted him to a hospital.
Police will investigate the incident after a case is filed, he said.
No case was filed until 5:00pm.
Aminul Islam, president of Tahirpur Press Club, said, "This is a heinous act and we protest such an attack on a journalist while covering news."
Kashmir Reza, president of Paribesh O Haor Unnayan Sangstha, said for years, illegal sand and stone lifting by destroying the banks of Jadukata has been a burning issue in the upazila. No stern action has been taken yet though protests were made to protect the environment, he said.
"This attack shows how fierce the lifters have become due to the inactiveness of the administration," he said.
Padmasan Singha, Tahirpur upazila nirbahi officer, said, "The lifters are locals and when we conduct drives there, they go into hiding. But this time, we'll take strict action soon."
The Daily Star on June 28 last year published a report headlined "Illegal sand and stone lifting poses threat to Jadukata river".
Jahangir Hossain, deputy commissioner of Sunamganj, said he just heard of the incident. He would look into the matter once the case is filed.