Journos assaulted for making news on illegal sand extraction

Published : 03 Nov 2023 08:59 PM

A journalist was allegedly severely beaten and injured for making news and taking photograph of illegal extraction of sand from farm land in Sreemangal of Moulvibazar district recently. 

Tanvir Islam Kausar, 28, Sreemongal Correspondent of Bangladesh Post was attacked and injured severely by local criminals while he was returning home after snapping photographs of illegal extraction of sand by using dozens of 'Bomb' machines and dredger from the crop land at Sreemongal of Moulvibazar. 

The 'sand-priates' also snatched away the I-phone from Tanvir which he used for snapping the photo. The incident occured at Bhunabir Chowmohani in  Bhunabir union of the upazila recently.  

Tanvir Islam Kausar is the son of Monir Mia of village Paschim Laiarkul under Bhunbir union of Maulvi Bazar. He also works as the Maulvibazar Correspondent of Bangla daily Sokaler Somoy.

After giving first-aid at Sreemongal Government Hospital, injured Tanvir Islam was referred to the Sadar Hospital of Moulvibazar where he was admitted and took treatment for several days. The incident occurred at Bhunabir Chowmohoni of Bhunabir union.

Khush Banu, auntie of injured journalist filed a case accusing several 'sand-pirates' including Kausar, Ferdous Kabir Mollah, Nanu, Dudu, Foyez and Aslam. 

It is learnt, a section of sand traders' syndicate are continuing extracting sand illegally with ‘bomb machines’ and dredgers for the last several years by paying Tk 25 to 30 lakh kickback per month to the concerned authorities. As a result of using bomb machines, a large number of sink-holes of 50 to 150 feet deep have been formed on various rural roads and crop fields. 

When reporter Tanvir Islam went to the spot and was returning after snapping shots of the sink-holes and the dredgers, sand-terrorists attacked and beat him severely at Chomuhani point.

The particulars of the case mentioned, a section of sand traders have been illegally extracting silicon sand with dredger machines from Joitachhara and Ilamchhara areas under Bhubabir No-2 union for a long time. Such illegal extraction of sand was destroying the crop fields and the environment severely and large sink-holes were created on cultivable land threatening crop land and the roads. Common people of the areas were not daring to talk against those influential sand terrorists. When journalist Tanvir Islam Kausar went to the spot to snap photographs of extracting sand using dredger machines, the accused sand traders threatened him of dire consequences if he publish news and photo about their activities in the newspapers. Later, when journalist Kausar went to neighbouring Ilampara, he noticed some people were also extracting sand from there also. After snapping the photographs of sand extraction there, Tanvir was returning home. When he reached Chowmuhani area of Bhunabir union, the sand terrorists along with some unidentified people armed with lethal weapons waylaid him and beat him indiscriminately with rods throwing him on the road. 

The accused also tried to board him on a black coloured car and snatched away his I-phone and ID card.

Journalist Tanvir informed at the east side of road of Mongol Chandi of Icchamoti tea garden of Bhunabir union, behind the house of Thanda Mia of Shasan Botertola union, West side of Ilampara of Bhunabir Bazar, Prempara of Ilam village, IlamBoropara, the new garden of Bhunabir High School mear Fisheries of Jiatachhara, Kumarpara of Vimchiarea,Kadomtola of Mirjapore, and beside the Thander field huge sink-holes covering 100 to 150 feet deep have been formed in crop fields and on roads due to extracting of sand with six to seven dredging machines in each area. 

Hearing the news of snapping photographs and collecting information of sand extraction, the sand terrorist atacked and injured him. Now the terrorists are asking him to withdraw the case and threatening him that they would kill him and and his family members if he does not pay to their demand. Tanvir said, he was worried getting threat from them.