Isn't it a crime to disgrace independence based on falsehoods: Hasan
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday raised question whether dishonouring the country's independence by writing lies using the name of a child in exchange of Tk10 is a crime or not.
"It is like publishing the news on Basanti's net wearing," he said.
"Is not it a crime to eyebeam the independence by writing falsehood using the name of a child offering him TK 10? It is almost identical to publishing fake news on Basanti's wearing a net," he told journalists after unwrapping a book titled 'Bangabandhu in Newspaper Advertisements' published by Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) at the conference room of his ministry in the secretariat.
He raised the question responding to journalists' query about a news story published on Prothom Alo's online edition and later posted on its Facebook page on the Independence Day.
Additional Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Md Faruque Ahmed, PIB Director General Zafar Wazed and writer and researcher Papi Debi Thapa were present on the occasion, among others.
The journalists also asked the minister about the trials of arranging musical function centring Meril-Prothom Alo award function on the day of collapsing Rana Plaza that killed hundreds of people in 2013, death of a schoolboy by electrification at a Prothom Alo programme at Dhaka Residential Model College compound in the city and ridiculing the Independence by writing falsehood in the name of a child on the Independence Day.
Replying to those questions, Dr Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, said, "I would like to ask you that publishing a report on the Independence Day ridiculing the Independence, trying to force a child to make comments in exchange of TK 10 and later writing fake comments in the name of the kid . . . doesn't it go against the ethics of journalism? Therefore, it (the news of Prothom Alo) is facing strong criticism."
They (Prothom Alo authority) withdrew the news afterwards as they could realise that it was not correct, he said, adding but the screenshots of the news were saved in different domains and shared by many people, which are still available and rolling in the social media.
In this context, aggrieved persons have filed cases and the relevant journalist has also been arrested, the AL joint general secretary said, adding, "Everything will come out following the police investigation and the law will go on its own course."