Threat mail sent to Blitz editor Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury by anti-Bangladesh propagandists


On September 28, 2023, Blitz published a report titled “Unveiling the identity of the anti-Bangladesh ghostwriter ‘Chandan Nandy‘”, which exposed individuals using the name of Indian journalist Chandan Nandy to publish continuous propaganda materials on an obscure website called ‘Northeast News’. This report highlighted the distinct differences in writing styles between the original Chandan Nandy and the ghostwriter using his name. However, at 6:23 am on the same day, Blitz received a threatening email from Monirul Islam Sheikh alias Monir alia Opee, using a Gmail ID [email protected]. The email contained extremely derogatory language and slurs directed at Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, the editor of Blitz.

Within a few hours of receiving this threatening email, Mehadi Hassan Palash messaged the Blitz editor on WhatsApp. In his message, Palash stated, “I had some personal conversations. I said these words because of our long acquaintance. You need permission as an honest journalist to use these conversations as news. You should have this knowledge. What you have done is grossly dishonest journalism. I did not expect this from you”.

In controversy: French news agency AFP editor Qadaruddin Shishir (left) and Mehadi Hassan Palash (Right).

Shortly after sending the text message, Palash took to his Facebook account to post the following:

“I used to work with him at Inqilab [a vernacular daily newspaper in Bangladesh], where we became acquainted. After leaving Inqilab, we lost touch for a while. Then, there were questions raised about a news article published in his newspaper concerning Rohingya issues on August 25th. At that point, he inquired about personal matters, such as family and work. During our conversation, I mentioned Parbatta News, and he pointed out a technical issue on their website. We discussed potential solutions for several days. At one juncture, I came across a report in his newspaper [Blitz] branding Chandan Nandi as a ghostwriter. I speculated that it might be true. Later, I saw a Facebook post by AFP fact-checker Qadaruddin Shishir and shared the link with him, suggesting, ‘Perhaps your report was inaccurate’.

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I also mentioned that I have been monitoring Shishir’s activities for a while. Shishir was a trainer at a journalism fact-checking workshop organized by PIB, a government institution. Having participated in it, I had some insight into fact-checking activities. In that context, I informed the gentleman [Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury] that I am familiar with Shishir’s work and trust him. However, it was a very personal conversation. He never once said that he would or wanted to make news about this private conversation. I don’t know how big journalists are those who don’t have this common knowledge to use any personal conversation as news!”

Mehadi Hassan Palash’s excessive reaction may be seen as evidence of his growing concern regarding the Blitz report that shed light on the real identity of the ghostwriter known as Chandan Nandy.

It’s worth noting that during the 2001-2006 BNP-Jamaat regime, Mehadi Hassan Palash was known as a close associate of the infamous Hawa Bhaban and a confidante of BNP leader and convicted terrorist Tarique Rahman.

Surprisingly, he claims that numerous senior officers of the Bangladesh Army visit his office for “learning” during their NDC course. He goes even further by asserting that if an AK-56 assault rifle were to enter Bangladesh from the border, he would be notified by his covert agents in the locality “long before Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies”.

What Palash does not mention is that, given his close ties to Tarique Rahman and other BNP-Jamaat leaders, he managed to establish connections with officers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. While it is known that many “moles” from enemy quarters have infiltrated strategic positions in various countries, it would be premature to draw such conclusions about Mehadi Hassan Palash, as the matter warrants a thorough investigation.


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