No plan to cancel Amar Desh declaration: Inu

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Tuesday said the government has neither cancelled the declaration of Amar Desh nor it has any plan to do so. “The government has no plan to cancel the declaration of Amar Desh. It will allow the authorities to print the daily from another press if its publisher applies to the deputy commissioner in a specific form,” he said while addressing a press briefing at the Press Information Department (PID).
Meanwhile, journalists, employees and press workers of the vernacular daily refuted the claim of Inu.
About the arrest of Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman, the information minister said, the case was filed against Mahmudur Rahman under sections 56 and 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006. “Instruments of the related press (Amar Desh) have been seized under the section 80 of the same law.”
He continued: “The law enforcement agencies have done these activities as state responsibilities. The independent publication of the media has no relation with it.”
The information minister said the authorities of Amar Desh committed a grave offence by illegally printing, publishing and distributing the daily on April 12 and 13.
Accusing that Mahmudur Rahman had viciously committed crimes, he said, “The charges he (Rahman) is facing are based on cyber crime and specific criminal offences. It has no relation with the newspaper declaration or the freedom of the press.”
Describing Amar Desh as a third-class leaflet, Inu said, “Its editor (Rahman) is not a professional journalist. He is using the newspaper as a tool of spreading propaganda violating all basics of journalism after being the editor abruptly.”
The Minister also urged the opposition parties and others not to do anything demanding the release of Mahmudur Rahman.
Meanwhile, the journalists, employees and press workers of Amar Desh denounced the statement of the information minister. On behalf of the staff, Amar Desh executive editor Syed Abdal Ahmad said the government illegally sealed off the press on the night of April 11.
Saying the authorities took alternative arrangement to publish the daily from Al-Falah Printing Press and the deputy commissioner was informed of the matter within 24 hours, he alleged that police illegally seized the printed copies of the daily and arrested 19 binders in a raid on the press.
“The district administration filed a false case against Amar Desh Publications Ltd acting chairman Mahmuda Begum and Sangram editor Abul Asad. It’s evident through the aforementioned steps that the government is not letting the paper be published legally,” Sayed Abdal said, adding,
“After illegal and motivated obstructions and harassment, the claim of the information minister that the government is not obstructing the publication of Amar Desh is completely false.”
He also asked Inu to open the press of Amar Desh and withdraw the case filed against Mahmuda and Abdul Asad if he has any noble purpose. Earlier, on Monday, the Amar Desh authorities decided to suspend the publication of the Bangla daily bringing allegation of obstruction against the government.
The authorities at a press conference alleged that the government had ‘illegally sealed off’ their press and prevented them from printing the daily at Al-Falah Printing Press of daily Sangram. On April 11, police arrested Mahmudur Rahman from his Karwanbazar office on charge of sedition. Later, he was taken on a 13-day remand in three cases. Later in the night, police raided the press of the vernacular daily in the city’s Tejgaon area and sealed off it.
Police seized 6,000 printed copies of Amar Desh from Al-Falah Printing Press of the Daily Sangram in city’s Mogbazar area on Saturday night.
Nineteen press workers were also held during the raid. UNB

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