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Using JPC as shield against clash tantamount to offence: Hasan

Published : Monday, 1 March, 2021 at 9:52 PM  Count : 172

Using JPC as shield against clash tantamount to offence: Hasan

Using JPC as shield against clash tantamount to offence: Hasan

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday said using neutral organization- Jatiya Press Club (JPC) as a shield against clash is tantamount to an offence.

“Jatiya Press Club is a neutral national organization and it is an institution of journalists. It is open for all irrespective of opinions and political parties. So, it is really unaccepted to carry out attacks on police from there,” he said.

Hasan, also Awami League Joint General Secretary, said this while replying to reporters at his ministry at the Secretariat here.

Earlier, the minister exchanged views with the leaders of Bangladesh Chalachitra Pradarshak Samity, the top representative body for cinema hall owners of the country.

The association leaders extended thanks to the minister for introducing easy bank loan for constructing and renovating cinema halls.

Association’s chief advisor Sudipta Kumar Das, vice president Mia Alauddin, joint general secretary Sharfuddin Alahi Samrat, treasurer Azgar Hossain and executive member Faruque Hossain Manik were present, among others.

Hasan said Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) hurled brickbats on police personnel using the JPC as their shield.

“But, there were no stones in the Press Club. They kept those earlier. It cannot be acceptable. We should remain alert against recurrence of such incident,” he added.

He said the question should be raised at first why a journalist of ATN Bangla got injured in the attack of JCD activists.

“Chhatra Dal tried to create anarchy in the country. A vested quarter is trying to fish in the troubled water centring an unexpected incident. Such ill efforts were carried out in the country in the past too,” he added.

About Digital Security Act (DSA), the minister said similar provisions of chapter VI of the act are also in Chapter XI of the Information Technology Act of India and Section 16 of the Protection of Electronic Crimes Act of Pakistan.

He said the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the United States, the Computer Misuse Act in the United Kingdom, the Electronic Transaction Act in Nepal, the Federal Decree on Law on Combating Cyber Crimes in the United Arab Emirates, the Network Enforcement Act 2017 in Germany, Cyber Security Act 2018 in Singapore are similar to the Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act.

He said these are only few examples of some countries. There are provisions of arrests and punishments for such crimes also in many countries.

“But, like you, I also in favour of remaining careful in using the act,” he said.

Replying to a query over writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death, the minister said: “We don’t know how he died. A probe-body has been formed to find out the reasons behind the death. It will be revealed in the probe report whether he used any drugs or how he died, or whether there was any negligence of the prison authorities. But, I also feel sad for the death and it is really unacceptable,” he added.

About bank loan for cinema hall owners, Hasan said a proposal was given to form a special fund to Bangladesh Bank from the Information Ministry for the development of the film industry.

The prime minister was also informed about the matter, he added.

He said the premier considered the issue importantly and gave necessary directives. For this, the special fund has been formed, he added.

The minister said, so far, the Bangladesh Bank has formed a fund of Taka 500 crore which could be increased to Taka 1000 crore or more later.

He said the fund actually an incentive package as the loan will be distributed through scheduled banks.

Bangladesh Bank will give the money to the scheduled banks with 1.5 percent interest while the banks will distribute the loan with 4.5 percent interest at district and upazila levels and 5 percent in Dhaka, Chattogram and other divisional cities, he added.

Hasan said the persons, who want to renovate cinema halls or reopen halls or construct new ones, would get the loan.

Replying to a query over a proposal of changing the name of the Information Ministry, Hasan said it is yet to be decided.

“A proposal has been sent. The name of the ministry was ‘Information and Broadcast Ministry after the independence. But, later it was changed. The ministry looks after the matter of broadcast like TV broadcast and other broadcast,” he said.

He said the ministry now has a wide range of broadcasting activities including television, radio, online and IP.

During the time of Bangabandhu, the name of this ministry was Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, he added.

“In India and Pakistan, the ministry is also known as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. For this, we have taken this initiative. It will be passed in the cabinet, it will be approved by the Prime Minister, and it will be approved by the President. It is still at the primary level,” said Hasan.


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