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Fellow workers take to the street to protest 'police attack on journalists'

By bdnews24.com
29th-Jan-2017       
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Journalists take to the streets demanding punishment of the policemen who assaulted two journalists covering an anti-Rampal agitation on Thursday.
As a sign of protest journalists belonging to different professional platforms brought out a procession and thronged the National Museum square in the capital Saturday morning with part of their faces covered with black clothes.
ATN News Correspondent Ehsan Bin Didar and cameraperson Abdul Alim were beaten up by police while covering a shutdown on Thursday.
National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port called for a half-day shutdown on Thursday in protest against the proposed Rampal power plant near the Sundarbans.
Scuffles broke out between police and the campaigners at different points on Dhaka University campus during the strike.
When they were videoing the incident, police dragged Didar and Alim inside Shahbagh Police Station and beat them up. They were later treated for their injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
"We demand exemplary punishment to those who injured the journalists while performing their duties," Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) President Monjorul Ahsan Bulbul said.
The leaders also urged Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal to withdraw his statement, "police never torture journalists. Sometimes pushing and shoving take place. That's natural." The minster came up with the statement on Friday.
Such statement may encourage police (to do the same again), said Bulbul.
He urged the probe body formed over the incident to take accounts of witnesses.
Dhaka Union of Journalists General Secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury said: "The video footage and photos of the brutality have been published. We demand trial of the culprits."
Munni Saha, head of news at ATN News, lashed out at police for the assault.
"Every now and then police swoop on on-duty journalists and get promotion. Suspension is the highest punishment to them"
"If this is to happen, then the reporters should just stand at a corner putting down their microphone and pens," she said.
Dhaka Reporters' Unity President Shahed Chowdhury said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had urged police to be friendly towards people during the recently observed Police Week.
"By beating up two journalists, they have shown what advice they could derive"
He termed home minister's remark as a 'cruel joke'.
Bangladesh Crime Reporters Association General Secretary Sarwar Alam echoed with the demand for punishment to the attackers.

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