Daily Star sacks Executive Editor Ashfaqul Haque 2 months after fatal 'fall' from his flat

Ashfaqul and his wife are facing charges over the death of a child domestic worker

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 2 April 2024, 12:21 PM
Updated : 2 April 2024, 12:21 PM

The Daily Star has dismissed its Executive Editor Syed Ashfaqul Haque under pressure from rights activists amid allegations that the newspaper was protecting him after he landed in jail in a case over the death of a child domestic worker.

The broadsheet published the termination notice on its English and Bangla news portals on Tuesday, but offered no explanations for the sacking that came two months after the death of the house help from the tribal community in mysterious circumstances.

“The management of The Daily Star has issued a termination notice to Syed Ashfaqul Haque, the newspaper's Executive Editor. The notice takes effect immediately,” it said.

On Feb 6, minor domestic worker Preeti Urang 'fell to her death' from Ashfaqul’s house in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur.

The tragic incident, where Peeti was seen hanging from a railing for approximately 13 minutes, stirred unrest in the neighborhood, prompting claims that she had been murdered. Locals launched a protest over the incident.

The following day, Preeti’s father Lokesh Urang filed a case at the Mohammadpur Police Station over the incident.

Police said they wrote the case statement and read it out to Lokesh before taking his fingerprint as a proof of his consent because he is illiterate, but Lokesh and his wife Namita Urang said they believed it was to get the body of their daughter.

Ashfaqul and his wife Tania Khondoker are in jail in connection with the case over culpable homicide charges. Their attempts to secure bail failed several times.

Previously, on Aug 6, 2023, a 7-year-old domestic worker, identified with a single name as Ferdousi, also fell from the same house.

Following a settlement of Tk 200,000, Ashfaqul and Tania were dropped from the case over Ferdousi’s fall.

Her family are in dire financial and existential trouble with two other children to raise, while Ferdousi is unable to even stand up on her own. She endures excruciating pain while urinating after two surgeries following the incident.

Although no protests were reported after Ferdousi’s fall, there have been continued demonstrations calling for justice for Preeti since her death.

The Daily Star Editor, in a note to readers over Preeti’s death, said: “We await the completion of the judicial process for our own administrative action on this matter.”

He, however, did not mention Ferdousi.

Also Read: Anatomy of a fall: Preeti Urang's eyebrow-raising death sparks questions about morality, responsibility

Also Read: Ferdousi dodged death in journalist's flat. But 9-year-old and her family are drowning in despair