Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said if such a report that the daily Prothom Alo published had appeared anywhere in the world, the relevant media’s license would have been cancelled.
“Is it fair to tarnish the dignity of the country’s independence by giving Taka 10 to a child?” he ques-tioned while speaking at a discussion at DU TSC. ‘Daily Prothom Alo has done a heinous act’, he ob-served.
Dhaka University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) arranged the discussion at TSC auditorium marking the birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Quader, also the Minister for Road Transport and Bridges, said an offense cannot be avoided terming it a mistake.
“It was a heinous offense. If children are presented like this in the developed and democratic countries, the license of the media will be cancelled. Prime Minister Sheikh has showed her patience to this end,” he said.
The AL general secretary said they (Prothom Alo) did not apologise for the offense it committed.
They should be punished for the heinous offense the newspaper has committed, he said, adding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina works with a cool brain.
A section of Bangladesh’s media is constantly attacking the government at a time when global leaders are praising the Sheikh Hasina government, he said.
Blaming that BNP is shedding crocodile tears for journalists, Quader said the BNP which killed journal-ists are now shedding tears.
He said the Prime Minister has done everything possible for the journalists and that is why they should work with responsibility.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other leaders shed crocodile tears in the name of the freedom of journalists but many journalists were killed in the country during the BNP regime, the road transport minister said.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done everything possible, including announcement of the 9th wage board of newspapers and formation of a welfare trust for journalists.
Quader said the Prothom Alo undermined the country before the world by disrespecting its independence on the Independence Day.
“We have showed tolerance a lot. We fought for freedom of journalists and mass media. What are those, who killed many journalists, are doing today?” he asked.
Noting that the unwanted truth of the history repeats itself, the AL general secretary said the US ambas-sador in Dhaka was told that the politics of Bangladesh is not the same like the politics in other coun-tries.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wanted to compromise for the sake of the country and its democracy and she invited Begum Zia via telephone call, he said.
Quader said when Khaleda Zia’s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko died, the prime minister went to Khaleda’s house to express her sympathy to the bereaved mother but the door was closed.
Bangabandhu’s daughter went to those, who wanted to kill her, to express her condolence and this is the generosity of Sheikh Hasina, he said.
The AL general secretary said BNP leaders could not make their leader free through movement.
“Because of Sheikh Hasina’s generosity, Begum Zia is in her home today. Her sentence was suspended and she was allowed to stay at her home,” he said.
The BNP leaders are constantly having online meetings with convicted BNP leader Tarique Rahman and they are still saying that they have no freedom in Bangladesh, the minister said.
Chaired by DU BCL president Mazharul Kabir Shayan, the discussion was addressed, among others, by BCL president Saddam Hossain and its general secretary Sheikh Wali Asif Enan and DU BCL general secretary Tanveer Hasan Saikat.
Earlier, Obaidul Quader distributed prizes among the winners of drawing and easy competitions.