Bangla daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman sustained injuries in the head and face as a group of leaders and activists of ruling Awami League backed student organisation, Bangladesh Chhatra League, allegedly attacked him on court premises in Kushtia district town on Sunday afternoon.
He came under attack after a Kushtia court granted him bail in a case filed against him by Kushtia district BCL president Yasir Arafat Tushar for making derogatory remarks about Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and prime minister
Eyewitnesses said that about 70 to 80 BCL activists led by the district BCL president took position outside the courtroom confining Mahmudur to the courtroom just after the court granted him bail in the case in the afternoon.
Later, they said, he managed to come out with pro-Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawyers and tried to leave the place getting on his car when the BCL activists hurled brickbats at his car and hit it with sticks.
‘The Chhatra League men broke his car’s window and hit him with brickbats about 4:30pm. Broken glasses also fell on him. The attackers hit him with bricks and bamboo sticks causing injuries to his head and face,’ said Amar Desh special correspondent M Abdullah who was accompanying Mahmudur.
Abdullah alleged that the police were mere witnesses when Mahmudur was attacked and his car severely damaged.
He said that the lawyers then rescued Mahmudur and took him to a lawyer’s chamber which also came under attack. ‘He was bleeding from head and face and we could not take him to hospital in fear of more attacks.’
Mahmudur left the court premises later by an ambulance and received primary treatment at a hospital in Jessore before leaving the district by air for Dhaka where he was admitted to United Hospital, informed Abdullah.
Kushtia district BCL president Yasir Arafat Tushar, talking to New Age, claimed that no member of BCL was involved in the attack.
He, as the plaintiff of the case, went to the court premises along with other activists to protest at Mahmudur’s derogatory remarks, he said. ‘A vested quarter had been spreading bad names against Chhatra League leaders and activists for attack on Mahmudur.’
Kushtia superintendent of police SM Mehedi Hasan told New Age in the evening that he heard that Mahmudur was attacked by a group of miscreants whose identities could not be known immediately.
Kushtia Sadar police’s duty officer said that officer-in-charge Nasir Uddin was on the spot and they received no allegation in this connection till 8:00pm.
OC Nasir neither answered calls from New Age nor responded to a text message sent to his official cell phone.
Earlier on the day, Kushtia senior judicial magistrate MM Morshed granted Mahmudur permanent bail in the defamation case filed by Tushar on December 10, 2017, United News of Bangladesh reported.
On December 1, Mahmudur took part in a seminar on restoration of democracy and the role of media, organised by Bangladesh Democratic Council at the National Press Club in Dhaka, where he allegedly made derogatory comments about Sheikh Mujib and Hasina.
Several cases were filed against Mahmudur in different districts for making the remarks.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a news briefing in the evening at the party’s central office in Dhaka condemned the attack and alleged that Chhatra League ‘goons’ in cooperation with police attacked Mahmudur.
He demanded legal steps against the attackers without any delay.