As many as eight journalists have been allegedly beaten up by activists of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party, while they were covering the student protests on road safety in Dhaka.
The eight journalists also include – Prothom Alo’s staff correspondent Ahmed Deepto, Associated Press (AP) photo-journalist AM Ahad, Daily Banik Barta’s Palash and freelancer Rahat Karim. The wounded journalists are undergoing medical treatment at various hospitals in the Bangladeshi capital, Prothom Alo reported.
The activists of AL’s front organisations – Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and its youth wing Awami Juba League physically attacked the journalists while they were reporting on the attacks on the students protesting at Science Lab and Jhigatola areas in Dhaka.
Prothom Alo’s Deepto said that a group of journalists were covering the protests at Dhanmondi-1 area when a large number of BCL activists started chasing the students.
Deepto added that as the journalists and the students started to run for safety, he was brutally hit in his leg by a BCL activist with an iron rod. “As much as 20-25 activists beat me up mercilessly,” he alleged.
Depto further said that during the assault, his helmet was broken.
For those unversed, two students of Dhaka’s Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College were killed when a speeding bus ploughed through a crowd on July 29. The bus was attempting to overtake another bus when the incident occurred.
Following this, a large number of students took to the streets of Dhaka, demanding improved road safety and stricter enforcement of traffic laws, bringing the city to a complete standstill.
The two students killed were identified as 18-year-old Abdul Karim Rajib and 17-year-old Dia Khanam Mim.
Dozens of students have been injured by the police in clashes ever since the protests began, according to several media reports.