Picked up from Kurigram home, Bangla Tribune journo jailed for 1 year

Rangpur Correspondent
Published : 12:12, Mar 14, 2020 | Updated : 16:38, Mar 14, 2020

Bangla Tribune journalist Ariful Islam has been jailed for one year after he was picked up from his house in Kurigram by magistrates and law enforcement members.

Jailer of Kurigram District Jail Lutfor Rahman said Ariful was sent to the prison early Saturday (Mar 14).

Ariful is the Kurigram district correspondent at online news portal Bangla Tribune and English daily Dhaka Tribune.

Two to three magistrates of the district administration along with 15 to 16 ansar members broke into Ariful's house, and started beating him, family members said.

Claiming that half a bottle liquor and 150gm of cannabis were recovered from the house, they picked him up, the family members added.

Ariful's wife Mostarima Nitu said a group of people knocked at the door of their residence, located in the town, around 12:30am.

Later, seven to eight people in Ansar uniform entered the house by breaking open the door and started beating Ariful.

As he asked why he was being physically abused, they again assaulted him, Nitu said.

"Another 40 to 50 people were then standing outside the house. They were also guarding other houses so that no one could come to our aid," she added.

"Before they entered our house, I called Sadar police OC Mahfuzur Rahman and informed him about the matter," she continued.

"He said no police personnel were sent to the house, and that he was looking into it," Nitu further said.

Ariful was escorted directly to the DC office where a mobile court sentenced him to one year in jail, around 2am, Nitu added.

About the conviction for possessing drugs, she confirmed Ariful was a non-smoker.

She said: "We came to know they said they recovered half a bottle of liquor and 125gm of cannabis from the house. They did not search our house or find any drugs from Ariful. How can they convict him on such false allegations?"

Ariful was getting threats for his earlier reports which went against Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sultana Pervin, she said.

"The whole incident is the manifestation of vengeance," she added.

Journalist Ariful had made a report over an attempt by Kurigram DC Sultana Pervin to name a renovated pond after her.

Besides, he also made another report recently over irregularities regarding appointments in the DC office.

Meanwhile, journalists in Kurigram and elsewhere vented their anger over the incident.

Kurigram Press Club General Secretary Ataur Rahman Biplab said they would take a decision in this regard after an emergency meeting.