"Journalist Manik Saha"
Killing of a noted Journalist:
Elimination of minority elite in BD continues... [Part 1]
Subject: Bicharer Vani Nirabe Nivrite Kande:
You have read the horror story of killing of noted Khulna journalist Shri Manik Saha. Here is my impression of the event. God knows where are we leading to. Or does he know really ?
Popular Journalist Manik Chandara Saha shot dead.
Date line: Khulna, Friday 16th January, 2004. Today’s leading national news is ‘Killing of journalist Manik Saha of Khulna in a severe bomb explosion’. Terrorism has rapidly taken multidimensional shape since the Khaleda-Nizami Government took over the thread of administration in October 2001. Its hand is ever widening from killing of businessmen to journalists and other elite of the society including popular political leaders. Abduction, raping, looting and destruction of properties, are only routine matters on the part of the terrorists. To the eyes of the terrorists cinema and holy religious places are same and indistinguishable !.
Manik Saha - the fourth journalist to be killed in the region in recent years (Photo source: BBC News)
A total lawlessness reigning supreme in the land of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia proudly calls ‘a country of moderate Moslems’. If this is the image of Bangladesh of moderate Moslems, what picture it would take when the true Moslems, like Nizamis and their gong would take over the country from Khaleda of BNP, is not difficult to guess. In this prevailing situation, needless to say religious and ethnic minorities and our women folk are the worst sufferers at the hand of the political and professional terrorists and fundamentalists. Minority elites have always been the target of repression of the fundamentalists and terrorist cadres. The objective was quite clear-- make the minority community weaker and weaker, make the community leaderless. The community’s presence even if it physically exists would not be felt in the society then, and its influence would not be experienced in the national life. Establishment of monolithic Islamic state is just miles away!
In September last year a popular doctor and elite of Jhenaidah, Dr. S. K. Mukherjee was brutally stabbed to death. Now it is Manik Saha of Khulna, another elite belonging to the advanced minority community.
According to the news published in local and national dailies, Saha a noted journalist of Khulna city while retuning from metropolitan conference of Awami League at Shahid Hadis Park via Khulna Press Club, where he stayed for a while, towards his home in a rickshaw, a powerful bomb was thrown at him. The severe explosion torn his body apart to pieces instantly. He died, needless to say, on the spot.
Mr. Saha was a popular figure in the district of Khulna, a noted journalist- chief of the Khulna burro of the daily Sangbad and part time representative of BBC at Khulna. He started his career as a lawyer in 1982 and subsequently took the profession of journalism by joining the daily Sangbad. In 1994 he acted as a contributor in Bengali division of BBC. He was also a representative of ETV of entire Khulna division in 2000. Apart from professional activities Mr. Saha was associated with many socio cultural activities and societies in the district. Born in 1956 in a village of Chaliatola in Kalia upazila of Narail district, Mr. Manik Saha was also president of the Khulna press club.
The unexpected and astonishing death of Saha blew spontaneous waves of shock throughout the city. Shops were closed down, people were found mourning his death. Uneasiness set in the city. The city became deserted- as if a spontaneous curfew has been declared. Spontaneous students procession under the banner of Students’ union and processions of the shocked journalists were brought out. So was he lovable and popular personality! But why the terrorists did target him is a million dollar question.
Hartal and Protest meeting
A total hartal, called by local Awami League and the press club of Khulna was observed today (17. 01. 04) as late night reports poured in.
As usual the police is quite in the dark about the killing of the journalist. It neither could trace the killers nor they could guess of motive of the brutal killing. The police performed their duty by carrying on the postmortem of the dead body. The BNP general secretary Mr. A. Mannan Bhuiyan as a matter of routine issued a statement mourning the death of the journalist and demanding the arrest of the culprits. To whom are you addressing this demand, may we ask you Mr. LGRD minister ? Are you not an important component of your government and your party now ruling us ?
Apart from the hartal of Saturday, the local press club chalked out a seven-day programme to mourn the death of the distinguished journalist. The programme includes:
· a dawn to dusk strike on Saturday · hoisting of black flags in local news paper offices and press club building. · placing of wreaths at local press club in the afternoon. · submission of memorandum to the home minister on 18th January · condolence meeting at the press club on 19th January afternoon · Formation of human chain on 20th January · Silent procession of protest on 21st January
Wave of protest continues
All political parties and their top leaders including AL chief expressed shock at the sudden death of Shri Manik Saha, a noted journalist and protest on the part of the government’s failure to give security to the country’s leading personalities. Other leaders were H. M. Ershad, chief of Jatiya Party, Khalequzzaman of BASAD, CPB president Manjurul Ahsan Khan and GS Mujahedul Islam Selim, Rashed Khan and Bimal Biswas of Workers Party, leaders of the various journalists associations and many students leaders.
However, strangely enough our most talkative home minister is keeping silence conspicuously !
In my previous posting of Bicharae Bani Nirabe Nivrite Kande I expressed my anxiety in the following manner:
“Our only anxiety is who is the next target after Muhuri, Jnanjyoti, Manikchhari priest, Shrikant Rakshit, and host of other victims.... ? “
Now I got the answer: It is Manik Saha of Khulna. Who is the next target Mr. home minister, may I ask politely ? By the by, where is our home minister now ?
In an interesting news head line of Bhorer Kagoj (17th January) says, “Swarastra Mantri anek din dhore palatak”. Journalist Enayetullah, a close associate of our minister disclosed this in an interview with the BBC in connection of killing of the journalist Saha. Mr. Khan expressed his concern by saying that there had been talk of good governance. We have asked the home minister too. But he has been hiding quite for sometime. ‘Why is he holding the post still’, Mr. Khan wondered. If Enayetullah, a close friend and philosopher of Begum Khaleda does not know whereabouts of our most able interior/home minister then who would know. God save us!
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