"Journalist Manik Saha"
Killing of a noted Journalist:
Elimination of minority elite in BD continues... [Part 2]
Journalist Manik Saha cremated with state honour.
Noted journalist late Manik Saha was cremated day before yesterday (16th January) afternoon with full state honour. The city looked mortified and still shocked, streets deserted. A total hartal was observed, no shops were open, no vehicles seen to ply. Thousands people that include elites of the society, his lawyer, journalist and political colleagues, host of friends, well-wishers, relatives and common mass attended the last rituals. His dead body- covered with Bangladesh Flag was brought to the press club premise at 9 a.m. There was no room for people in around the premise. First wreath was placed in his honour on behalf of the press club followed by various organizations : Khulna Journalist union, Khulna Metropolitan journalist union, Journalists Association, Press club workers union, Awami League, Dainik Purbanchal, Dainik Janmabhumi, Rajpather dabi, Dainik Prabartan, Dainik Loka Samaj, Udichi, Sammilita Sanskritik Jote, Khulna Unnayan Sangram Samannay Committee, Mangla C&F Association, Muktiyodhha Sangsad, Combined Business Organizations, United Civil Movement, Puja Udjapan Kamiti, Satkhira reporters club and many other organizations. The political organizations that placed wreaths included Awami League, Jatiya Party, Bangladesh National Party, Information minister, the city mayor, Bangladesh Samajtantrik dal, CPB and its president Manjurul Ahsan Khan. The coffin got covered with flowers. At 11 a.m. the late journalist who was also a gallant freedom fighter was given state guard honour. The body was then carried to different places with which the late journalist was closely associated. These are Temple of Dharmasabha, office of the CPB, where last tribute was offered on behalf of the party, Ratan Sen Public library, office of Udichi Shilpigosthi and then finally to his residence, where his relatives, friends and many political leaders paid last respect to the beloved and brave son of Khulna. The leaders solaced the crying members of the bereaved family. In the after noon his body was then taken to Temple of Shiva on way to cremation bank of River Rupsa where cremation took place around 4 p.m.
In the evening (16. 01. 04) a condolence meeting was held at the local press club under the chairmanship of Mr. Humayun Kabir, president of the club. The meeting was addressed by among others Manjurul Ahsan Khan, CPB president, Iqbal Hosain Choudhury, President, BFUJ, Akhter Ahmed, Secretary general, Jakir Husain, Manir Ahmed, Liaqat Ali, M. A. Salam ...
The procession of the Students Union brought out in support of the Saturday hartal demanded the resignation of the interior (home) minister and police commissioner. It is learnt that a terrorist group claiming to be East Bengal Communist Party (ML) expressed its indignation over the event through a fax.
Police failure, two cases filed
So far police administration failed to trace the real killers nor they could discover yet any clue for motive of killing of the widely respected journalist Manik Babu. They have hover arrested one person named Ananda, a person known to be as enlisted terrorists associated with bomb explosion. They were also trying to get hold of the concerned rickshaw puller for interrogation. So far they failed.
The Khulna police last Saturday, 17th January, filed two cases (i) one under the penal code associated with killing and (ii) under another penal code dealing with explosions. The OC of Khulan Police station was the plaintiff. In the deposition (ejahar) no motive was mentioned nor any name(s) appeared as killers or their collaborators.
Khulna: A city of Processions
The hartal of Saturday and Sunday (18. 01. 04) made three districts (Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira) almost stand still. A complete hartal was observed in the city, which was called by the Khulna Press Club and the CPB. Except one or two rickshaws, everything was closed. All ferry ghats were closed; no long distance buses either departed or arrived. But Khulna became a city of processions demanding immediate arrest of the killers. Processions were brought out by the 11 party alliance, Awami League, Journalists of the city, Students’ union, Students’ League, Puja Udjapan Kamiti and many other organizations. Even BNP brought out a procession protesting the killing. No untoward incident took place except a few journalists were assaulted near Shantidham Corner by a group of policemen. The police administration took appropriate action against them, it is learnt.
In the meanwhile, journalists of the city issued an ultimatum (17. 01. 04) of 72 hours within which they demanded the arrest of the culprits who were involved in the killing. They further demanded for safety of the journalists and asked the PM as well as leader of the opposition to do the needful in this respect. The local AL gave Sunday’s hartal call. The journalist brought out a silence procession and moved to the DC’s office (18. 01. 04) where they handed over a memorandum to the PM as well as to the Interior minister. The memorandum urged upon the PM and the minister concerned for personal intervention. The journalists further demanded to the city mayor to rename the street as Manik Shaha Street where the journalist was killed. Awami League held a protest meeting after the end of the hartal, which was addressed by the local AL leaders. 11 party also brought out procession on Sunday led by Worker Party’s President Rashed Khan Menon.
From Saturday (17. 01. 04), a temporary platform (mancha) was erected near the place where the journalist breathed his last. From 12 noon – 4 p.m. local journalist leaders made speeches and observed a token hunger strike. The notables who took part in the hunger strike were Humayun Kabir, President of the press club, Wadudur Rahman Panna, Saheb Ali, Hasan Ahmed Molla.
The Interior Minister broke his silence
At last our onetime talkative and extra zealous interior minister Mr. Altaf Husain Choudhury broke his silence. In a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee for interior affairs he assured (18. 01. 04) us that his very able police administration and other special investigating teams are working round the clock to arrest the killers. Talking to the journalists he complemented the late journalist by calling him a great freedom fighter, a brave journalist and a social worker. He expressed his surprise to the criticism of so far police failure by saying, " Killer’ ra ki kothao, kakhono benche thakte paerechhe ? Ainer hat anek lamaba" (were the killers anytime anywhere able to escape ? The hands of law are too long to escape from.). "Mr. Saha, a close friend of mine," claimed Mr. Interior minister, "had no enemies as far as I knew. And even he had enemies, we are trying to arrest those killers. Police and other detective branches are working in this regard day and night."
We wish your success Mr. Minister, but your past records do not encourage us.
Benevolent Fund created
In order to help the wretched family of the late journalist his journalist friends has created a benevolent fund. Its account number is
Name of the Account: Manik Sahar Paribar Sahayya Tahabil (A fund to help the family of Manik Saha)
A/C no: 34004562,
Eastern Bank, Khulna Branch
Po dist: Khulna,
If any Muktomona wants to donate may kindly send the money directly to the above account, or he may send the sum to the following A/C of mine which I would gladly send to the family :
Account Name: Professor Ajoy Kumar Roy
Savings A/C No. 2006
Agrani Bank, Bangla Academy Branch,
Bangla Academy Premises, Ramna
Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
It may be noted with great appreciation that Khulna Press Club President Mr. Hmayun Kabir, General Secretary Mr. Sheikh Abu Hasan, and Treasurer Mr. Deep Azad each already contributed to the fund a sum of Tk. 10,000, Tk 5,000, and Tk 2,000 respectively. Hats off to them.
20. 01. 04
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