May 22, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mohammad Ali Arafat today said the government would secure protection of journalists so that they don’t face any harassment anywhere while seeking information.

“We want to ensure that no journalist anywhere in the country faces any kind of harassment or trouble in performing their professional duties,” he said.

The state minister was addressing a function on the occasion of cheque distribution of Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust (BJWT) at Tatya Bhaban in the city’s circuit house road this afternoon.

The BJWT today distributed the grant among 65 journalists of Dhaka district in the second phase of the fiscal year 2023-2024.

The government allocated a total of Taka 2.03 crore for disbursement of BJWT grant among 263 journalists and their families across the country in the second phase.

The government wants to build such a society where the mass media and journalists would enjoy full freedom and be allowed to criticize the government, he said.

“The government of Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thinks nothing beyond this,” he said.

Urging everybody to work together to resist spreading disinformation the state minister said such practice is a threat to democracy and journalism.

About the imprisonment of a journalist in Sherpur district, Arafat said, he inquired about the incident and the Information Commission immediately took the incident into its cognizance.

BJWT Trustee Board members Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB) Director General Zafar Wazed, BFUJ- Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists President as well as Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) acting Chief News Editor Omar Faruque, Managing Editor of Dainik Sangbad Kashem Humayun and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) President Sohel Haider Chowdhury and DUJ General Secretary Akhter Hossain spoke on the occasion with BJWT Managing Director Shubash Chanda (Badol) in the chair.

Omar Faruque requested the state minister to take steps so that journalists can get the arrears of the 9th wage board from the employers.

Arafat urged the media owners to pay the arrears of the 9th wage board as soon as possible and salaries and allowances of journalists before Eid-ul-Fitr.

He said the financial assistance is being given to the journalists as part of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s endeavor to ensure safety and security of the journalists. She took the initiatives for all journalists irrespective of their political views and ideologies considering their necessity.

The state minister said the amount of the grant would be increased in line with the demands of the journalists and considering their real need.

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