BANGLADESH: Jai Jai Din editor now wants talks with sacked journos

After his apparent attempt to flee the country fails, Editor Shafik Rehman talks with the abruptly outed Jai Jai Din journalists

The Daily Star
Monday, October 30, 2006

Security personnel yesterday morning took Shafik Rehman, the editor of recently discontinued daily Jai Jai Din, to some hidden place from the airport after his failed attempt to leave the country.

On Friday, the management of the daily suspended its publication for an indefinite period due to 'problems with electricity generation', and terminated 104 of its staffs, mostly journalists.

The terminated staffs, who made nightlong protests outside the airport, alleged that Shafik Rehman was trying to leave the country secretly without paying their dues.

Shafik had tickets of five airlines, but none of them agreed to have him on board after Emirates Airlines offloaded him before flying as the agitating journalists contacted them, sources said.

However, a press release of the Jai Jai Din last evening stated that the editor took quick decision to fly for London following his physician's advice.

Following proposal for a negotiation by Taleya Rehman, wife of Shafik Rehman, three unit chiefs of the Jai Jai Din sat in a meeting with Taleya yesterday afternoon that continued as of filing this report late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the terminated staff of the Jai Jai Din filed a forgery case against Rehman with Tejgaon Police Station on Saturday night.

On behalf of the nine terminated journalists and staffs, who were working at Jai Jai Din's Chittagong Bureau, former chief of the bureau Faruk Iqbal also filed a cheating case against Shafik Rehman with Kotwali Police Station yesterday afternoon.

"We were suddenly terminated without any reason. That is why we lodged this case," Iqbal said in the complaint.

The terminated journalists also told the British High Commission in Dhaka not to help Shafik Rehman who holds a British passport, sources said.