RAJSHAHI BUREAU: Journalist Abbas Ali has reported on the increasing trend of phencidyl and theft in the garage of Manda police station in Naogaon. He works as a Naogaon district representative in a national newspaper and online portal. He is the former Publicity and Publication Secretary of Naogaon District Press Club and President of Manda Upazila Press Club. It is alleged that the police administration was enraged and threatened to file a false case against him and his family. They are being threatened in various ways to refrain from publishing news. He is worried about his family. Journalist Abbas Ali and his family are seeking the intervention of higher authorities.
It is learned that Shahinur Rahman joined the police station on 26/10/20 as the officer in charge. In the last eight months of joining, there has been an increase in the theft of about 20 cows and the theft of shallow machines from shop houses and crop fields.
There was also a pile of banned Indian phencidyl in a motorcycle garage on the east side of the OC’s residence on the west side inside the police station premises. How the bottles of Phensidyl were piled up inside the CC controlled police station. Last June, two news items were published in national and local newspapers and various online portals. Since then, journalist Abbas Ali has been threatened in various ways to refrain from publishing news. Police officials are furious and are trying to frame him and his family in a false case.
On 6/1/21, the fourth brother of the journalist, Laboni Akhter (25), wife of Afaz Uddin of Varshon village of the upazila, died in her sleep. Police conducted an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The autopsy report came to the police station a month ago. However, on June 29, SI Aminul Islam called the journalist’s brother Afaz Uddin and asked all the family members to appear at the police station within an hour.
In the afternoon, his brother Yanush Ali, Ashraful Islam and Afaz Uddin along with some other dignitaries appeared at the police station. The report said the death was normal but demanded Rs 1 lakh. SI Aminul Islam threatened that otherwise the matter would be diverted.
Ashraful Islam said, SI Aminul Islam called and asked all our family members to come to the police station within 1 hour. When he went to the police station, he was informed that the autopsy report was normal. Besides, OC Sir will not give the final report if he does not pay 1 lakh. If the money is not paid, the report is threatened to be framed differently. Then we left the police station. Fearing threats, his elder brother Yanush Ali wanted to give some money to the police over the phone. Even then we wanted to pay 25 thousand rupees.
But even then the SI insisted and sent the report whatever it was. My younger brother Afaz Uddin has run away from home for fear. As his younger brother Abbas Ali is a journalist, the police have put a lot of pressure on us.
In this regard, journalist Abbas Ali said, after joining the OC, the tendency of theft has increased in the police station. A pile of phencyclidine in a motorcycle garage in a safe place like a police station. When such news was published, the OC became angry with me. He collected information about me and my family. Although he did not get any kind of lawsuit or unpleasant information about me. But even then the OC is trying to frame me in various ways. From here I want to get rid of.
SM Azad Hossain Murad, general secretary of the Naogaon District Journalists’ Union, said, “If a district police official plans to implicate a journalist in a false case, where will we go?” What could be more disgusting than this. I strongly condemn and protest against this incident. At the same time, I am seeking the vision of the higher authorities so that no journalist has to admit to harassment unnecessarily.
Manda Police Sub-Inspector (SI) Aminul Islam (01765-700002) said that both the parties including the parents of the deceased were called to the police station as there was no clear comment in the report. However, no money was demanded.
Officer-in-charge (OC) of Manda Police Station Shahinur Rahman said, “It is completely false and fabricated.” I did not talk to them. I didn’t call anyone about his brother. SI Aminul is the IO of the case. He is watching the matter. I have not yet seen the autopsy report. However, if he says that he has threatened, it is a complete lie.
Naogaon district bus coordinator Joynal Abedin Makul said the police were not above corruption. If Abbas has any misinformation, the police have a chance to retaliate.
But it would be unjust to file a harassment lawsuit against them for suppressing the right to express one’s opinion. If such activities continue then the movement against the police will continue.