Press Club tense over standoff between rival journalists

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

The Jatiya Press Club witnessed a tense situation on Monday, over a standoff between pro-Awami League and pro-BNP journalists, in the wake of their respective programmes on the compound.

Pro-AL journalists staged a demonstration protesting the presence of ‘outsiders’ at the club, after a rally of pro-BNP journalists where BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other BNP men participated.

During the demonstration, Muktijoddha Projanma League, a pro-AL platform of freedom fighters who broke through the main gate of the club, allegedly hurled brickbats at the pro-BNP journalists.

The rally of pro-AL journalists started at 11am with BFUJ President Monzurul Ahsan Bulbul in the chair demanding membership of the club.

An hour later, a rally of pro-BNP journalists started under the banner of Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad demanding restoration of democracy and voting rights, with its convenor Ruhul Amin Gazi.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam, Jagpa president Shafiul Alam Prodhan and pro-BNP journalist leader Shawkat Mahmud, among others, addressed the rally of pro-BNP journalists.

At the rally, Mirza Fakhrul said the government is speaking about democracy while keeping the offices of one of the country’s major political parties (BNP) under lock and key. The government is resorting to falsehood saying that Khaleda Zia is not confined and she can go wherever she wished, he added.

“If so, why were sand-laden trucks parked in front of the office?” Fakhrul questioned. “They want to protect democracy wearing a mask of democracy. They established one party-rule in the country.”

Soon after the rally ended, pro-AL journalists, led by Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, started chanting slogans protesting the presence of ‘outsiders’ on the club’s premises, and demanded they leave.

Meanwhile, Muktijoddha Projanma League activists broke through the gate and hurled brickbats at the pro-BNP group. It took Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury along with other journalist leaders to eventually stop them.

Mirza Fakhrul along with other BNP sympathisers were still inside the Press Club till filing of this report. Police are surrounding the premises, raising fears of possible arrests before the night is over.

Source: BD Chronicle