BANGLADESH: Nizami hits out at press

Seven newspapers face possible punitive action for their coverage of Nizami

The Daily Star
Friday, February 13, 2003

The ruling alliance lawmakers including a senior minister yesterday lambasted the media for publishing what they said baseless and motivated news against former agriculture minister Matiur Rahman Nizami.

They demanded punitive actions be taken against the newspapers for running a story yesterday that 'linked' Nizami to the irregularities in the appointment of block supervisors during his stint as agriculture minister.

Matiur Rahman Nizami, now the industry minister, claimed at parliament yesterday that a section of the press ran the story in a distorted manner.

"The media cooked the story to destroy my image as well as the alliance government. It's yellow journalism and crude lies," said the minister.

The allegation of appointment anomalies came at a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture ministry Wednesday.

But ruling BNP lawmaker Masiur Rahman, also a member of the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture ministry, said that there was no such discussion took place at the standing committee meeting.

He requested the Speaker to rebuke the seven newspapers who carried the story.

Another BNP lawmaker, Shah Shahid Sarwar, also claimed he did not raise any allegation against Nizami.