Under-fire Narayanganj MP Salim Osman, in leaked phone call, abuses journalist

Jatiya Party MP Salim Osman, drawing flak for publicly insulting a school headmaster, has been heard abusing a journalist in a leaked telephone conversation.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 18 May 2016, 07:23 PM
Updated : 18 May 2016, 07:23 PM

Osman can be heard threatening to get NTV's Narayanganj Correspondent Nafiz Ashraf sacked.

Private station NTV is owned by BNP leader Mosaddek Ali Falu.

A big chunk of the conversation, (Parental guidance for people below 18 is advised to listen to the conversation) a copy of which is available with bdnews24.com, has not been put in the report considering the vulgar words used by the MP, whose parents AKM Shamsuzzoha and Nagina Zoha took part in the 1952 Language Movement.

The MP has confirmed the veracity of the conversation with Ashraf, general secretary of Narayanganj Press Club.

The member of Narayanganj's influential Osman family said the conversation was 'merely personal'.

 He has also requested bdnews24.com not to publish the conversation at a time of 'danger' when he is facing intense public outrage for humiliating the teacher on charge of blasphemy.

"My relation with him (Ashraf) goes a long way back. I spoke about many things on a personal note. I haven't threatened him," Salim told bdnews24.com on Wednesday.

The conversation revolved round the expulsion of Abu Saud Masud from Narayanganj Press Club as general secretary.

Osman said the conversation took place two days after the removal of daily Amar Desh's Narayanganj Correspondent Masud from the club on May 6.

"Masud is very close to me...he is like a younger brother. The press club's executive committee expelled him. Then it was said in a meeting that I approved the expulsion.

"I wanted to know on the phone (from Ashraf) why does the question of my approval come," the Narayanganj MP said.

Salim Osman heads the Bangladesh Association of Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Narayanganj Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He is an MP from his elder brother late AKM Nasim Osman's Narayanganj-5 constituency.

Their younger brother AKM Shamim Osman, a ruling Awami League MP, is accused by Narayanganj Ganajagaran Mancha organiser Rafiur Rabbi of killing his teenage son Tanvir Mohammad Twaki.     

Salim is heard in the tele-talk venting his anger at Press Club President Prothom Alo Correspondent Asif Hossain and Twaki Mancha Member Secretary Halim Azad for protesting against the murder of Twaki.

Twaki Mancha is a platform that demands justice for Twaki.

"You (journalists in Narayanganj) have made president a person who said Shamim Osman is a murderer....and Masud is the worst in Narayanganj? You told a meeting that Masud was expelled with my permission," Salim told Ashraf.

"Your president insulted me in a programme after I responded to his invitation. Why haven't you expelled him?"

"...I am not vengeful. Asif would not have survived had I been so," he said.

"I am not like Shamim Osman who speaks against journalist publicly," he added.

Ashraf replied that he had informed Salim Osman that Masud, who runs daily Soja Sapta and newsnaryanganj.net, was doing 'wrong'. He was expelled on charge of battering Ashraf.

"I've told you, but you haven't taken it seriously," Ashraf is heard telling the MP on the phone. Salim Osman denied hearing anything from him beforehand on the issue.

In his defence, Ashraf told Salim, "All of us, except two or three, give you coverage."

"You won't need to give any coverage from today. I don't care about your coverage," Salim retorted.

"I have Kaler Kantho, Juger Chinta for coverage. But Kaler Kantho is yet to get a membership in your organisation."

"You say you will give me coverage on NTV...I will have a new journalist (replace you at NTV)...you are free to **** me if I can't," the MP added.

Ashraf declined comment on the conversation.