Police beat up journalists at Supreme Court Bar Association elections

At least 10 journalists came under police attack while performing their duties at Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) election
Suvra Kanti Das

At least 10 journalists came under police attack at the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) auditorium while performing their duties during the SCBA's election on Wednesday.

Of the injured, ATN news journalist Javed Akhter has been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). He is in a critical condition.

The other wounded are: Suvra Kanti Das, senior photojournalist of Prothom Alo, Fazlul Haque, senior journalist of Jago News, Nur Mohammad, journalist of Ajker Patrika, Abdullah Al Maruf of Manab Zamin, Jannatul Ferdous of Independent Television, Ibrahim Hossain, cameraperson of Boishaki Television, and Humayun Kabir, cameraperson of ATN Bangla.

Nur Mohammad told Prothom Alo that “I went to the voting centre around 11:45am hearing the noise. Awami-League (AL) and BNP backed lawyers were seen chanting slogans there. At a stage, police charged batons on the lawyers. They also kicked me as I went there to collect news.”     

He said the voting was supposed to start at 10:00am. But around 10:30am, 20 to 30 police entered the voting centre and drove out the journalists.

The injured journalist Fazlur Rahman told Prothom Alo that "police beat me up. I have suffered injuries in my head and different parts of my body. They also snatched cameras and cell phones from several journalists."        

Prothom Alo photojournalist Suvra Kanti Das said, "Police asked me to show the identity card while taking photographs of the chaos. They took a photograph of my identity card. At a stage, they started beating me up with uttering abusive words."  

Ashutosh Sarkar, president of the law reporters’ forum, told the journalists that "the assault on journalists has been informed to the law minister and the chief justice. They have sought a written complaint regarding the issue. We will do so."

When asked about the incident, Shabagh police station officer-in-charge (OC) Nur Mohammad said he isn’t aware of the incident.