Ten to fifteen staff and security guards of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Satkhira have allegedly beaten Satkhira correspondent of the Bangla daily Manabzamin indiscriminately after he went to the office of the BWDB-1 Executive Engineer Abul Khayer to collect information about the ongoing dredging activities of the River Betna.
Witness to the incident Masum Billah said journalist Eyarab Hossain was standing in front of Engineer Abul Khayer. Khayer came out of the room and signalled the security guards who started beating Masum.
"I went to the office of Abul Khayer to collect some information on the ongoing dredging in the River Betna. He called the security guards who pounced on me. They slapped my face and punched me indiscriminately. They also beat me with sticks and snatched my mobile phone," said Eyarab Hossain.
Eyarab said he has severe injuries in his hands, chest and belly.
Sub-Divisional Engineer Zakir Hossain, Deputy Assistant Officer Tanmoy Kumar, Security Guard Chief Shahidul Islam and 10-15 others from the office joined the attack on the journalist on the instruction of engineer Abul Khair.
After the journalists of the district came to know about the incident, they rushed to the office of the executive engineer but he secretly left the office without talking to the journalists.
Police went to the spot and seized the sticks used for beating the journo.
Satkhira Sadar Police Station Sub-inspector Minaj said the police would take action if the victim complains.
While talking over the phone, Executive Engineer Abul Khayer denied any incident of beating. He said there were heated arguments between the journalist and the BWDB employees.
Meanwhile, journalists and leaders from district and upazila press clubs, BWDB contractors' welfare council, students and political organisations held a protest rally in front of the BWDB office at noon.
They demanded the dismissal of corrupt engineer Abul Khair and punishment of those involved in the beating within the next seven days. Besides, Satkhira Press Club will announce a protest programme against corrupt officials after 72 hours.