Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (Noab) on Monday voiced deep concern as journalists laid siege to the house of an editor in Chattogram.
In a statement issued by the organisation, the newspaper owners said, "The siege of an editor's house, excluding the press club or newspaper office, is unprecedented. Apart from the newspaper owner or editor, there might be women, children, and even patients in the house."
"Besides, the incident of besieging the editor's house by journalists for fulfilling their demands is unexpected and sad," it said.
The newspaper owners' association said in the Covid-19 situation, not only Chattogram, but also the entire newspaper industry across the country, including Dhaka, is facing a severe financial crisis.
"Crores of taka are owed by newspapers to various government departments, agencies, corporations and departments. Many dailies in different parts of the country, including Dhaka, have survived by reducing their pages and ruing only online."
Although the government has announced incentives for various sectors, none of Noab's five-point demands, including unreasonable VAT cuts on newsprint, has been met in the national budget, the statement added.
Earlier on July 26, Chattogram Union of Journalists (CUJ) held a protest in front of the Chattogram Press Club and on July 29 in front of the house of Daily Azadi owner and editor MA Malek demanding full Eid bonus. Due to the protest of the employees, five daily newspapers in Chattogram have been closed since July 30.