Ansar members at Mugda General Hospital allegedly assaulted a photojournalist of a Bangla daily newspaper today when he was taking photos during a clash that broke out between Ansar men and suspected Covid-19 patients at the hospital premises.
Photojournalist Rubel Rashid of daily Desh Rupantor said he was assaulted while taking pictures as the Ansar men were allegedly beating up a youth who was waiting in queue to have his sample collected for Covid-19 test.
Rubel Rashid confirmed the incident to The Daily Star over phone.
Shawon Hossain, a private university student, said he went to Mugda hospital with his mother to have their samples collected for Covid-19 test.
Like every other day, the hospital authority gave tokens to around 40 patients for the test and there were around 35 people in front of him, said Shawon.
However, around 10:30am, after 34 persons' samples were taken, the Ansar men announced that no more samples will be collected today, Shawon told The Daily Star.
As Shawon protested, the Ansar personnel locked into an altercation with him and then began beating him up.
Rubel Rashid and Joyeeta Roy, a photojournalist of daily Bangladesh Protidin, were taking photos at that time.
Joyeeta tried to intervene as they were dragging Shawon inside the hospital premises. She ducked when the Ansar men tried to hit her.
Noticing Rubel Rashid taking photos of the incident, the Ansar members physically assaulted him.
"As I proceeded to take pictures of the incident, the Ansar men slapped me and broke the filter of my camera lens," he told The Daily Star.
The Ansar personnel also allegedly hurled abusive words at the journalists there and threatened to tie them up at the time, adding that they would not allow any journalists there.
On information, police went to the spot around 15-20 minutes later and brought the situation under control.
"I have visited a local pharmacy and took medicine for the pain," Rubel added.
It was not immediately possible to get comments in this regard from Mugda hospital authorities or the Ansar official in-charge at the spot.
Pralay Kumar Saha, officer-in-charge of Mugda Police Station, told The Daily Star that photojournalist Rubel filed a general diary with the police station.
"We have primarily inspected the incidents that the Ansar members locked into a brawl with a patient over serial for sample collection. At that time, they may have used abusive words at the photojournalist in the heat of the moment," the OC said.
However, the on-duty police officials did not see any incident that the Ansar members broke the camera of a photojournalist, he also said.
"As a complaint has been registered in this regard, we will look into the issue and check the CCTV footage tomorrow (Saturday). After checking the footage, we would be able to say clearly what happened there and then action will definitely be taken against those who would be found guilty," OC Pralay Kumar added.