New owners take over Amar Desh
New investors led by former energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman took over Bangla daily Amar Desh yesterday.
The new shareholders also had a meeting at the office of the paper. Mahmudur Rahman was made chairman of Amar Desh Publication Ltd and a new board of directors was formed during the meeting.
Amar Desh now has 20 shareholders. Of them, Islami Bank Director Tasnim Alam, Shakil Ahmed of advertisement firm Protisabdo, owner of Max International Golam Mohammad Alamgir and agriculturalist Anwarunnabi Majumder Babla are the new directors.
The outgoing managing director and publisher of the paper Hasmat Ali and director Enayetur Rahman Bappi, who is also managing director of ntv, welcomed the new directors.
Adviser and acting editor Ataus Samad, news editor, chief reporter, reporters and employees of the daily also welcomed the directors and assured them of extending all out cooperation in running the paper.
Amar Desh insiders say that the paper has been incurring losses since its inception on September 23, 2004 under the leadership of former BNP lawmaker Mosaddek Ali Falu, now in jail on corruption charges. Fugitive Orion Group Chairman Obaidul Karim was a major shareholder. Enayetur Rahman Bappi was also a founding partner of the paper.
The new directors have taken all liabilities of Amar Desh in exchange for all the assets the company owns. Reliable sources said the daily has liabilities of around Tk 40 crore.
A consultation meeting was also arranged at the Amar Desh office yesterday. Prof Talukder Moniruzzaman, Prof Anisuzzaman, journalist ABM Musa, Former Dhaka University vice-chancellors Prof Emajuddin Ahmed and Prof Moniruzzaman Mian, politician Badruddin Omar, Prof Sirajul Islam, Forhad Mazhar, author Imdadul Haq Milon, former adviser to a caretaker government Dhiraj Kumar Nath, Prof Razia Akhter Ranu, Begum Jahan Ara and Principal of Notre Dame College Benjamin D'costa attended the meeting among others.
"The intellectuals and noted individuals hoped that Amar Desh would talk about the interests of the country," read a press release issued by Amar Desh Chief Reporter Syed Abdal Ahmed.
They termed objective reporting the life of a newspaper. They said positive reporting is also very necessary.
Mahmudur Rahman presided over the meeting.