Anyone who is following the events surrounding government forced split in BNP will know of the following events that happened yesterday and was in the news today. Yesterday’s events as they were published by most of the print media and reported by electronic media are:

1. Khondokar Delwar Hossain could be traced back at BIRDEM hospital and surprising every quarter, he remained as defiant as before. He claimed his legitimate authority as Secy general of BNP and termed the formation of the turncoat faction with Saifur Rahman and Major Hafiz as illegal. BNP office secretary Rizvi Ahmed had a press conference today and he categorically termed the Saifur- Hafiz fraction illegitimate.

2. Major Hafiz claimed the authority of the party citing that party constitution is not applicable all time. This turncoat faction also sent a team to EC to record their claim of the EC invitation of dialogue.

3. As a part of continuing suffocating pressure on Khondokar Delwar Hossain, who remained almost isolated and confined at BIRDEM hospital today, expectedly his son Paban was arrested in weapon and Yaba charges.

Most of the newspapers except two major dailies reported all the news mentioned above. Two dailies, the daily Star and Prothom –Alo reported part of the news.

anam.jpgmatiur-rahman.jpg

Today’s edition of the daily Star had three banner headlines on this matter. Their first headline was “Saifur-led BNP all set to get EC nod. Given assurance to use party HQ, symbol”. This reporting was clearly an attempt to create an environment in favor of their wishful thinking reporting. Their second banner headline was, “Infamous Paban Captured.” The report started this way, “Akhter Hamid Paban, son of immediate past BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain, was placed on a two-day remand yesterday in an arms case”. In this rather long reporting Daily Star printed a long chronology of unsubstantiated allegations against Khondokar Delwar Hossain family and Paban, trying to depict him as the worst of the worst criminal. Surprisingly in this long reporting there is absolutely no mention of possible connection of Paban arrest and pressure on Khondokar Delwar Hossain to resign. and not to mention Daily Star qualification of Delwar Hossain as immediate past general secretary. In their 3rd first page report, a headline quoted Hafiz, the acting Secretary of turncoat faction as saying “BNP to go to power with Saifur at helm: Hopes Hafiz”, and gave extensive coverage to Hafiz press conference and reported a little bit about Rizvi press conference in the same reporting.

On the other hand Prothom-Alo went one step further. It had only two reports. One, again about creating an environment favoring EC recognition of turncoat fraction, is on Hafiz’s demand for EC recognition. The other is definitely the first page headline reporting of Paban’s arrest with plethora of unsubstantiated allegation against Khondokar Delwar Hossain family. In this reporting, as in Daily Star, there was not a single mention of the possible connection of this arrest with Khondokar Delwar Hossain’s refusal to give in to the demands of a military intelligence agency. And there was total blackout of any news about Khondokar Delwar claiming legitimate authority of BNP and Rizvi’s press conference declaring Saifur led faction as illegal.

Reading these two newspapers makes me wonder what kind of journalistic teaching these two editors had and what kind of standard they are creating? Why such a blind partisanship towards this military government? What favor really they want in return?

During 36 years of independence we have seen how successive governments have hired street thugs to disperse opposition processions, ransack meeting places, blockade opposition leaders’ trips or harass opposition activists. Now a days what these two editors are doing to harass opposition political leaders, weaken opposition political activism is little different from what those street thugs did in the past for their political masters.