The initiatives for reinvestigation of the noted journalist and freedom fighter Manik Shaha’s murder case will be taken for identifying the killers and their patrons, assured the Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu. He also announced publishing a white paper, after the probe, on all the journalist murder cases.The minister came with the remarks while attending a discussion meeting at the Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday, organised by journalist society on the occasion of the 12th death anniversary of Manik Saha.
Manik Saha, New Age correspondent, also a reporter of BBC Bangla based in Khulna, was bombed to death near Khulna Press Club at Chotto Mirzapur in Khulna city on January 15, 2004.
Hasanul Haque Inu said the present government does give space to killings, communalism and extremism. “I agree with the demand of reinvestigation of dauntless Manik Shaha murder case. I will follow all legal procedures for reinvestigation of the case. Journalists will feel insecure if killers of the journalists are not punished,” he said.
He assured he would take initiatives for publishing a white paper on the murder cases of the journalists including Humayun Kabir Balu, Harunur Rashid Khukon and Sheikh Belal Ahmed, and Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi.
The then BNP-led government when could not reside in the hearts of the people, a section of the party decided to create terror with such killing. The killing happened in front of the eyes of the state but it did not bring justice to the victim as the perpetrators were a part of the state, said the minister.
Noted writer Syed Abul Maksud, who actually proposed for publication of white paper, said: “Two forces killed Manik Shaha- the first one was the state itself as it could not achieve good governance. The second force is still unknown, for which we are demanding proper investigation for long twelve years.”
He said as the administration of the government failed to bring the killers into light, journalists should conduct investigations of the killing.
Rahul Raha, output editor of Channel 24, said: “Manik Shaha cherished true journalism in his heart, fought for the people’s rights, against all injustices, wrote about inequalities and sufferings and never sold his ideals to anyone. By killing him, the murderers wanted to shut the mouths that spoke the truths.”
The speakers said without punishing the criminals who killed the journalists, putting an end to extremism will not be possible.