Transcom chief, Prothom Alo editor file GDs
Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman, Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman and Associate Editor of the newspaper Mizanur Rahman Khan have registered general diaries (GDs) with the police following the recent harassment and provocations by the Bashundhara Group.
They said Bashundhara may cause any untoward incident to throttle the independent voice of the newspaper.
The GDs were filed with the Gulshan, Tejgaon and Shahbagh police stations Sunday night.
It was mentioned in the diaries that Prothom Alo ran a story headlined “State machinery desperate to save Bashundhara” and a news analysis titled “Allegations of yellow journalist, the chief justice has no comment” on October 12 and 13 this year.
Displeased by the news items, Bashundhara published false and defamatory advertisements in different newspapers between October 13 and October 18. It also circulated posters and leaflets.
In the GD filed with Tejgaon Police Station, the Prothom Alo editor said the subjects of the two reports were upholding the rule of law, the context of which was the bails given in contradiction to rules to the Bashundhara chairman, his wife and their three children.
In an affidavit to the High Court on July 5, 2009, the government mentioned that that the Bashundhara owners are convicted in a tax-dodging case and are fugitives under the law.
The GD also said that the mentioned events that followed the publication of the reports in Prothom Alo provide evidence for a desperate and dangerous conspiracy.
“Besides the hateful and aggressive attitude and unholy activities of the Bashundhara owners are not unknown to the conscious citizens of the society,” the GD said. There are clear records of their activities that breached the law.”
It is also widely known that Bashundhara Group is facing charges of its involvement in the much-talked-about Sabbir Murder Case.
“In this context, I am deeply disturbed by the malicious advertisement and false allegations and court cases,” said Matiur Rahman, the editor of Prothom Alo, in the GD.
In any civilised society, there is a universally recognised way to challenge or differ with any published report, but Bashundhara did not follow it, according to the GD.
“We cannot but be deeply concerned by the disturbing incidents created one after another by Bashundhara Group in a show of their wealth and power,” Matiur Rahman said.
The advertisement run by Bashundhara in different newspapers -- after filing charges in a GD against specific people -- only shows their limitless disrespect for the rule of law, Matiur Rahman added.
Another GD was filed with Gulshan Police Station on behalf of Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman by the company's head of legal affairs Md Fakhruzzaman on Sunday.
In his GD, Latifur Rahman said: “The allegations filed in a GD on October 14 linking us to the Bashundhara blaze are completely false, trumped-up, baseless, motivated and certainly planned and conspiratorial.”
Latifur Rahman added: “Circumstances have forced us to fear that Bashundhara Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan (popularly known as Shah Alam) or any member of his family may implicate me or any member of my family in any false case or threaten our lives.”
In the GD, Latifur Rahman also expressed his fear that Shah Alam or any member of his family may try to hurt his businesses or harm his employees by any means.
Mizanur Rahman Khan, who wrote those reports, filed a GD with Shahbagh Police Station on Sunday night. The GD mentioned the arrival of four unnamed young men by motorcycle in search of Khan at the Supreme Court premises on October 14. One of the motorcyclists misbehaved with Mizanur Rahman Khan's driver, according to the report.