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Dec 27

Zihad rescue attempt and the Yellow Journalism Behind in All

UPDATE: Zihad’s dead body was later discovered and pulled up by locals from the very same location, but only after the administration and rescue teams had abandoned their attempts after an entire day. Doctors said that Zihad had died within 3 hours of his fall as a result of his injuries while falling down, along with his exposure to cold.

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Despite hours of frantic efforts, the rescuers could not yet get a sight of the four-year-old boy said to have been trapped at the bottom of a deep well in the capital’s Shahjahanpur yesterday.

As a camera probed the well shaft, the nation waited anxiously with their fingers crossed and eyes glued to the live TV to see whether Jihad who allegedly fell inside the 17-inch diameter shaft, around 40 yards from his house, around 4:00pm while playing with other children.

Around 2:00am today, the camera completed its slide into the hole but there was no sign of the boy. The monitor showed some ragged clothes only.

After several abortive attempts and sending a borehole camera inside 254 feet into a 600 feet abandoned water-pump well, the state minister for home, Asaduzzaman Khan, at about 2:45am on Saturday surreptitiously declared that there was no boy trapped into the borehole and it might be a rumour.

A massive yellow(?) media operation:

The rescue operation of Jihad, who as initially dubbed as “Zia” by the media, was a focus of massive media attention. Some would say that this is more than unnatural, given the fact that nothing has transpired out of the rescue operation till the writing of this article, with officials saying that it was all probably a rumour. It was as if the media was desperate for a sensational story, and it was as if this rescue operation was the answer to all their prayers. The TV screens of all of Bangladesh went live to the rescue operation during the evening, the time when the BNP was scheduled to hold a press conference regarding the situation in Gazipur.

It was as if the whole media focus on the rescue of Zihad was designated to remove your attention from something else.

But why?

What really happened behind the scenes of the rescue operation of Zihad?

This report by New age shall suffice to explain it all.

The police arrested Bangladesh Nationalist Party standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy in the city on Friday morning as law enforcers started countrywide special drives detaining several hundred leaders and activists of the party and its front organisations. The opposition leaders have accused the government of arresting its activists indiscriminately to suppress their movement.

At least 300 opposition men were rounded up by the police in different districts in the name of special drives or routine drives in 24 hours till Friday evening. A court in Dhaka remanded BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy in police custody for three days after he was arrested by the detective branch of police on Friday morning. Gayeshwar, along with three other BNP men, was arrested at a house in the city’s Shiddheshwari neighbourhood in a pre-dawn raid by plainclothes police.

The BNP leader was shown arrested in a case lodged with Shahbagh police station over Wednesday’s violence, attack on Awami League lawmaker Chhabi Biswas and assault on police, said Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media and public relations) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. The detectives raided the houses of Gayeshwar and BNP’s Dhaka city unit convener Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel on Thursday night after the case was filed. BNP sources said plainclothes police had raided Sohel’s Shantinagar house and Gayeshwar’s Rayerbazar house at Thursday night. Later on Friday morning, the police arrested Gayeshwar at a house at Shiddheshwari. The Shahbagh police produced him before the court of metropolitan magistrate Toshruzzaman seeking a 10- day remand.

In the remand plea, investigation officer of the case, Shahbagh police inspector (investigation) Habil Hossain, told the court that the BNP leader was behind the plan for assault on police and attack on the Awami League lawmaker. Gayeshwar should be remanded in custody for more information about the plan, he said.The court granted three days’ remand for Gayeshwar and the three others – BNP Tugar unit convener Atikur Rahman and activists Mizanur Rahman and Mainuddin Chowdhury.

New Age Chapainawabganj correspondent reported that at least 82 people, including BNP activists, were arrested in different upazilas in drives on Thursday night and Friday. Police, however, claimed that it was a routine drive. In Pabna, at least 61 people, including opposition men, were rounded up by police. New Age Bogra correspondent reported that at least 71 people were arrested in special drives in different upazilas. The district police assistant superintendent Gaziur Rahman said that they had conducted special drives to arrest people accused in narcotics-related cases. In Gazipur, at least nine people, including the district unit Juba Dal vice- president Bashir Ahmed, were arrested. Besides, police arrested two men of Islami Chhatra Shibir at New Budhpara, a Jamaat-Shibir dominated region in Rajshahi, on Thursday night. Earlier on Thursday, 16 BNP men were rounded up from different areas of Sirajganj, seven in Satkhira, 10 in Manikganj, 29, including upazila Jamaat- amir, in Bagerhat and five in Mymensingh, reported the district correspondents.

The Bakshibazar violence smothered?

The rescue attempt and the prolonged unsuccessful related events surrounding it, replete with multiple appearances of important government and administration officials, was a perfect chance to smother any public and media attention related AL hand behind the provocation and fanning of the Bakshibazar violence, the blame of which was one-sidedly heaped on the BNP. This was inspite of the fact that leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League central committee and the organisation’s Dhaka University, Dhaka College and Buet units could be clearly identified from the pictures taken during the unprovoked and arbitrary attack on BNP men in the capital’s Bakshibazar area on Wednesday.