The attack on journalists by the workers and supporters of the government-backed candidates during Tuesday’s election to the three city corporation of Dhaka and Chittagong, not only was criminal, but also exposed the ill motives of the ruling party. We condemn the miscreants and demand that they be tried and punished.
The media was the most effective observer in the election. The role of the media could have been an asset for the election commission in carrying out free and fair elections. But the question is, did the election commission want free and fair elections? It certainly hadn’t put the required instruments in place. Had the journalists been given the scope to do their job, this could have been the main instrument to obstruct all sorts of manipulations and irregularities. When they were obstructed from carrying out their profession duties, steps should have been taken to resolve the situation. But the election commission did not do this. On the contrary, the police obstructed the journalists. In Dhaka and Chittagong, nine journalists were physically attacked. Another 15 were threatened and ordered to desist from their duties. The police did not come forward to help the journalists. They watched in silence. This is reprehensible.
It is obvious that the journalists were obstructed from their work and not allowed to enter the polling centres, so that the vote forgery and vote theft could go along unhindered. Such practices are harmful for the nation. Those who committed these crimes on Tuesday must be tried and punished so that such incidents do not recur.