Journalists stage a sit-in programme in front of the Bangladesh Secretariat yesterday to press home demands including the arrest of the killers of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi. Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, Dhaka Union of Journalists, Jatiya Press Club, and Dhaka Reporters' Unity jointly organised the programme in the capital.Photo: STAR
Journalists will march towards the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on June 26 to press home their demands including the arrest of killers of Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), made the announcement yesterday while wrapping up a sit-in programme in front of Bangladesh Secretariat.
Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), Jatiya Press Club (JPC), BFUJ and Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) jointly organised the programme.
Other demands include ensuring safety of journalists and providing a safe environment for performing their duties, stopping oppression on newsmen, investigation of earlier killings of journalists, freedom of mass media and a job for the wife of Bibhash Chandra Saha, a journalist who was killed in a road accident in the capital on May 11.
Leaders of different journalists' unions, editors and senior journalists of various print and electronic media organisations will march towards the PMO to submit a memo to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to realise their demands.
On February 11, Sagar, news editor of Maasranga TV, and his wife Runi, a senior reporter of ATN Bangla, were found murdered at their rented flat in West Rajabazar of the capital.
As part of the fresh agitation programme, on June 5, the journalists would hand over a memo to the Speaker urging introduction of a law for ensuring safety of journalists and freedom of mass media.
From May 20 to June 15 they would also carry out an awareness programme at the print and electronic media offices to strengthen their movement.
The BFUJ president warned of tougher movements including observing work absention in all media houses across the country if their demands were not met.
He also urged the print and electronic media to publish and air news items everyday on Sagar and Runi, highlighting the failure of the law enforcement agencies into the investigation of the killings.
Earlier, the journalists held their scheduled sit-in programme for around 90 minutes in front of the secretariat yesterday morning.
A section of journalists took position in front of Gate No-2 of the secretariat after defying police resistance at Paltan intersection around 11:30am, as the gate was promptly locked from inside to prevent the journalists from entering.
The remaining journalists were forced to hold their programme on the street running between JPC and the secretariat.
President of Federal Union of Journalists Ruhul Amin Gazi, BFUJ Secretary General Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, DUJ President Abdus Shahid, DUJ General Secretary Mohammad Baker Hossain, JPC President Kamaluddin Sabuj, and DRU President Shakhawat Hossain Badsha spoke at the rally.
Newspapers published editorials on the unsolved murder case of the journalist couple while several electronic media houses aired special news on the issue yesterday.
Meanwhile on April 18, the High Court ordered to shift the case to the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) after being frustrated over the failure of the Detective Branch in identifying the killer(s) of Sagar and Runi.
Rab is now investigating the case though it is yet to unearth the mystery behind the murder of the couple.