BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday night voiced concern over the government ‘instruction’ to private TV channels to be cautious in telecasting news about BNP alliance’s movement and feared that it might deprive people of knowing the fact, said her adviser Shawkat Mahmud.
“A fresh censorship has been imposed on the media so that people can’t know the fact. Senior ministers sat with the owners and representatives of TV channels. In the name of consultation with the TV channel owners, they (ministers) gave them a gentle threat,” he said after a meeting with Khaleda at her office.
Mahmud, also a senior journalist, further said, “The new censorship on the media came up for discussion during the meeting with Khaleda Zia. She expressed concern over the government’s threat to the media.”
Earlier in the day, the government urged the private television channels to telecast the country’s real situation and not to sensationalise any news on violence.
The request was made at a views-exchange meeting between the representatives of some private TV channels and some senior ministers with Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at his ministry.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said, “We’ve urged them to telecast the real situation and not to sensationalise news on violence.”
Mahmud, also the general secretary of pro-BNP Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), went to meet Khaleda around 7pm.
Emerging from the office, he said the BNP chief greeted the country’s people and 20-party men for making the 48-hour hartal in Dhaka and Khulna divisions a success.
He said Khaleda is stuck to her position on carrying out the movement until democracy is restored. “She called upon people to continue the blockade programme until the victory is achieved.”
Asked whether Khaleda will go back to her home as she is no longer confined by the government, Mahmud said, “She (Khaleda) herself announced the blockade programme. This is her office and she’ll stay there as long as the blockade continues.”