Sunday, January 8, 2012

Protests turn violent as journalist killed

Angry journalists were protesting in front of National Press Club and National Eidgah after senior reporter Dinesh Das was killed in a road accident in the capital's Kakrail on Sunday.

They smashed a few vehicles and city bus counters halting traffic on the busy street from the High Court to Paltan.

A bus ran over the motorcycle carrying Dinesh Das, a former senior reporter of Bengali-language daily Amader Somoy, killing him on the spot around 8:45am.

"He was on his way to Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) after dropping his only 9-year-old daughter 'Othoi', a grade-3 student of Viqarunnisa Noon School," Ramna Police Station OC Rafiqul Islam told

Police seized bus and arrested the accused bus driver and his assistant immediately after the accident, he said.

Fellow journalists rushed to the accident spot and hospital. Information minister Abul Kalam Azad went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) to see the body around 10:30am.

His remains were taken to Dhaka Reporters' Unity premises after autopsy. An emotionally charged environment took over when Dinesh's wife Poly Das and daughter reached there. No-one had words to console them.

The body was moved to National Press Club after about an hour. There, Dinesh's colleagues and leaders and supporters of various organizations paid their last respects.

Angry journalists vandalised few vehicles during this time, alleged sub-inspector of Shahbagh Police Station Mohammad Shahjalal.

They started demonstration demanding punishment of the bus driver and compensation to the family. The protests were ongoing in front of the DRU office even though DRU president Shakhwat Hossain Baadshah tried to calm the journalists.

He announced a halt in demonstration until 11am Monday, but the journalists were in no mood to oblige him.

The body was taken to his village home Raninagar Bania Parha of Naogaon around 2:15pm.

Chief of Nirapod Sarak Chai (We want safe road) movement, Ilias Kanchon joined in, adding fresh thrust to the protests.

'Pragatishil Shilpa O Gana Madhyam' activists staged a human chain protest in front of the Press Club in the afternoon.

Earlier, on Dec 28, senior journalist of Bengali daily Kaler Kantha, Nikhil Bhadra, was run over by a BRTC bus in front of the National Press Club.

His right leg had to be amputated from ankle. Nikhil is currently undergoing treatment at the National Orthpopaedic Hospital.