Bangladesh journalist killed in clashes between ruling party factions

A journalist has died after being shot during clashes between the loyalists of Abdul Quader Mirza, mayor of Basurhat municipality in Noakhali’s Companyganj, and members of a faction of the Awami League.

Published : 20 Feb 2021, 07:47 PM
Updated : 20 Feb 2021, 09:43 PM

Burhan Uddin Mujakker, 25, the Companyganj Upazila correspondent of the Bangladesh Samachar, did not respond to treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and died on Saturday night, said Inspector Bachchu Mia of the hospital’s police camp.

After doing his master’s from Noakhali Government College recently, he was also working as the Companyganj Upazila reporter of online news portal Barta Bazar.  

Locals demonstrated at Chaprashirhat Bazar demanding exemplary punishment of those responsible for the killing after the news of his death reached the area. 

They said Mujakker was filming the incident when violence broke out on Friday.

He was hit by bullets in the neck, head and other parts of his body and taken to Noakhali General Hospital in critical condition before being transferred to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Alamgir Hossain, superintendent of police in Noakhali district, said they were trying to contact Mujakker’s family.

Mirza is the younger brother of Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the ruling and MP of Noakhali-5 seat.

Mirza came to the spotlight recently ahead of the Basurhat polls during the third phase of municipality elections last month.

Despite being a candidate of the Awami League, he made remarks against the ruling party leaders and local MPs.

He continued criticising the Awami League leaders and called a general strike in Companyganj even after winning the polls.

The followers of Mizanur Rahman Badal, a former chairman of Companyganj Upazila council, marched at Chaprashirhat Purbo Bazar on Friday in protest against Mirza’s “falsification and offensive” comments about his brother Quader.

Clashes erupted and shots were fired when Mirza’s men tried to stop Badal’s followers.

Mujakker was among seven shot during the clashes. At least 25 others were also injured.

Badal started a case over the incident, naming Char Fakira Union Parishad Chairman Jamal Uddin Liton, 44 others, and 500-600 unidentified men as accused.

Mirza also submitted a complaint to the Companyganj Police Station.

Police Sub-Inspector Shafiqul Islam filed another case against 500-600 unidentified men on charges of attack on police and obstruction of government duty.

SP Alamgir said they were trying to catch the accused while investigating the incident.