Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday urged the country’s journalist community to keep patience and play a responsible role over the issue created centering journalist Rozina Islam.
He made the call while speaking at a discussion through videoconferencing from his official residence here, reports BSS.
The AL’s Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee arranged the discussion at the party’s Bangabandhu Avenue central office, marking the Homecoming Day of AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Party’s presidium member Matia Chowdhury presided over the discussion meeting which was also addressed, among others, by presidium members Dr Abdur Razzak and Abdur Rahman, relief and social welfare affairs secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, central executive committee members Doctor Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Abdul Awal Shamim, Parveen Jahan Kalpana and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Vice Chancellor Professor Doctor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed. Senior journalist Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul presented the keynote at the discussion.
Quader, also AL general secretary, said: “Our statement is that as a case has been filed to this end, the matter is now under trial. If the concerned journalist is innocent, she will get justice.”
“I urge the journalist friends to keep patience and play a responsible role so that no instability and dissatisfaction is created in the minds of the people over this issue amid the second wave of coronavirus,” he said.
Quader said if someone responsible at the ministry had briefed journalists on the day of the incident, such misunderstanding would not emerge.
Reiterating that Sheikh Hasina’s government believes in the freedom of expression, he said there is no pressure on media now, while reports on various issues, including corruption and crime, are being published in the country’s media.
The AL general secretary said mass media is working as a vigilant watchdog in flourishing the country’s democracy, upholding the spirit of Liberation War and building a non-communal Bangladesh.
The allegation that the government is carrying out crack down on media for publishing graft related reports is not true at all, he said, adding the government’s position against corruption and on bureaucracy is very clear.
Quader said it was learnt from the statement of the health minister that the concerned reporter entered the room of the personal secretary of the ministry’s secretary in his absence and she concealed important documents and notes and took pictures of those on her mobile phone.
According to the Official Secrecy Act 1923, he said, such confidential matters could not be made public.
The road transport minister said there are specific procedures under the Right to Information Act to collect information and journalists can apply the law to gather information following these procedures.
“There was no need to collect information secretly (in this way). The Health Ministry formed a three-member body in this regard,” he added.