Narcotics dept staff sell alcohol, assault journo
Some employees of Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) yesterday assaulted a journalist while they were selling locally-brewed alcohol at its Barishal office, defying the ongoing shutdown.
Video journalist Kamal Hossain of private TV channel Bangla Vision said seeing a crowd, he entered the DNC divisional office and attempted to record the scene.
"At that time, DNC employees started beating me and damaged my camera and phone," he said, adding that later they fled the scene.
Hearing about the incident, journalists from different media outlets rushed to the spot and demanded punishment for the assaulters. This correspondent was also present there.
On information, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate of Barishal District Administration Md Saiful Islam rushed to the spot, seized 180 litres of alcohol and ordered to destroy those.
The executive magistrate said he sent a letter to DNC to take departmental action againt those involved in assaulting the journalist and selling narcotics creating a crowd during the shutdown.
One of the staffers named by Kamal as an attacker, was reached by this correspondent, but he denied assaulting the journalist. "I just dragged him into the room," he said.
Md Hafizul Islam, additional director of DNC in Barishal division, said some 70 people with alcohol buying permits -- all of them conservancy workers -- gathered there without prior permission.
He said action would be taken against the DNC staff who were involved in the incident.
Sunil, one of the persons present at the premises, said he went there after he was told they would be given their allotted "quota" of liquor.
Another conservancy worker, wishing not to be named, said they buy local liquor from here every month.
Two others present there said Sunil asked them to go there.