Mizanur Rahman Khan, our Mizan bhai, would work in the editorial section at Prothom Alo. However, he had close contact with the news section. He was out and out a journalist. He did not confine himself to writing editorials and columns alone. He had an enthusiasm for reporting. He would write reports for the first page, and analysis too. We would always say our best interviewer is Mizan bhai.
As I said, Mizan bhai had close contact with the news section. Prothom Alo's video section may protest against this. I noticed that the mobile phone he used was one used by modern journalists. He took photos, created videos. He would do video reporting, not only the video interviews. He would pass day after day on the 11th floor at the video section to edit the videos.
During Prothom Alo's anniversary in 2019, we organised a mojo competition as part of inspiration. Mizan bhai eagerly enlisted. We had shot several humorous skits on the occasion and Mizan bhai enthusiastically acted too.
This Mizan bhai once drew attention of all by getting the best award for photography.
I was in charge of the news section at the time. It was 3 April 2018. On that day, Mizan bhai came to the news section at noon and said he had taken a photograph and he wanted to know whether it would be published. I had taken the photo while walking along the Sonargaon intersection. It was of a hand (Rajib's hand) stuck between two buses which had been recklessly racing.
Many had filed reports on the bus accident of college student Rajib, but how many people would remember Rajib still today if the photo by Mizan bhai was not taken. There was not much outcry over the incident, but then this photo of Mizan bhai became an iconic illustration of Bangladesh road accidents.
There was a recent incident of PK Halder fleeing with depositors' money, totalling Tk 350 billion. It was astonishing that a petition was filed on behalf of PK Haldar, seeking protection from harassment -- PK Halder wants to return to the country, but he must not be harassed. This was an unprecedented incident where an accused fugitive filed a petition in the court. In the first page of Prothom Alo, Mizan bhai wrote, "PK Halder commits contempt of court at last."
The story was published on 26 October. Mizan bhai is no more. Who will now write about such shocking incidents? Who will alert us about various inconsistencies linked to the law?
The departure of Mizan bhai is a loss for many of us, but the loss to journalism is much more. Editor Mati bhai says an extent of madness is needed for journalism. Perhaps Mizan bhai fully possessed that.
I was the first member to be infected with coronavirus at Prothom Alo. I was admitted to Mugda General Hospital on 20 April 2020. It was a panic at that time. The treatment system was not known, none came close to me. At that time, Prothom Alo was the best place for me to rely on. At the instructions of the editor, the admin department took care of me with dedication. Later, as many as 81 members of Prothom Alo were infected with coronavirus. All recovered, we only lost the battle to Mizan bhai.
I got admitted to Mugda hospital sometime after 12pm. On the day, I received a message on Facebook from Mizan bhai at 3:39pm. He wrote, "Dear Masum bhai, praying to Allah you will recover soon."
We all have recovered, but you left us, Mizan bhai.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.