Awami League government’s ‘allied’ newspaper collaborates with rivals of Sheikh Hasina

Awami League, Sheikh Hasina, Al Qaeda, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, BNP, Yunus

Vernacular tabloid ‘Manabzamin’ has been consistently working against ruling Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while it also openly patronizes and promotes Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, Al Qaeda-connected Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)’s representative in the United States, who also is notoriously anti-India. It has also been learnt, Ansarey is the US correspondent of this vernacular tabloid.

Although chief editor and editor of this newspaper are known of enjoying blessings and backing of an influential figure in the government – its role is aimed at tarnishing image of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ruling Awami League as well as Bangladesh through publishing “sensational reports” and commentaries are well-documented, while before January 7 general elections, this newspaper attempted to foiling and create a political vacuum in the country. During the rule of the military-backed interim government during 2007-2008, Manabzamin was at the forefront of ruthless propaganda targeting Sheikh Hasina and other key-figures of Awami League. Onwards, when Awami League came to power through a landslide victory under the magnanimous leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Manabzamin continued its propaganda with the vicious agenda of defaming Sheikh Hasina and Awami League.

Manabzamin also has shown special enthusiasm in joining anti-government propaganda of controversial half Nobel Prize winner Muhammed Yunus.

Although we in Blitz have always been exposing Manabzamin’s notorious actions against the country and the ruling party, now this newspaper’s secret connections with enemies of Bangladesh as well as the cyber criminals have come into the light.

Facebook post of Manabzamin reporter Mariam Chompa with links to their ‘exclusive report’ which has later beenmysteriously removed from the website

On June 16, 2024, one of the most infamous cyber criminals and jihadist-terrorist Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami has publicly admitted his secret connections with Manabzamin and its chief editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, thus proving, sitting in Dhaka, Chowdhury has been maintaining communications with these notorious elements and also been publishing propaganda contents targeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ruling Awami League as well as important figures in the government. Sami’s Facebook post is related to a lead report published in Manabzamin in its June 16 edition targeting Asaduzzaman Miah, former commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). The report titled “All the wealth of Mia saheb” appeared under the byline of Mariam Chompa, a reporter of the newspaper.

In his post, Sami wrote: Manabzamin editor Mr. Matiur Rahman Chowdhury committed a very heinous act.

When I approached him on 12th [June] with my investigation about DMP Commissioner (former) Asadujzaman Mia and asked him to print this story with my byline, he almost immediately agreed. And the next day I shared all the files in my proof folder with him. He also saw that file, but since then he stopped receiving my calls. But today I saw that he printed my report in the name of Mariam Champa.

This is not the first time my story has been stolen by others, but I didn’t expect this from brother Matiur [Matiur Rahman Chowdhury]. I have given several reports to the journalists of Manabzamin before without any interest. Moti brother, you haven’t done the right thing. And I will remember this incident.

Commenting on the post, AKM Wahiduzzaman, Assistant Professor at National University, Gazipur, Bangladesh wrote, “Earlier I thought of alerting you”.

There are over 151 comments, 1,200 likes and 27 shares on Sami’s post. Sami also has published the same content on his ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) account.

While Manabzamin reporter Mariam Chompa in a post on Meta (Facebook) claimed her report was not based on information provided by Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami, mysteriously, within hours of publishing the report both on its online and print edition, Manabzamin has removed the content from its website. Although deleting contents from its website is not new with this tabloid.

Replying to comments on her Facebook post, Mariam Chompa has also admitted of maintaining communications with Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami and taking his “help” in a number of previously published reports, while she termed this cyber criminal “brother” and “respected individual”. This particular statement of Mariam Chompa evidently proves their intimacy with cyber criminals who are running vile propaganda against Bangladesh, ruling Awami League, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well as prominent figures in the administration.

In a Facebook post, Manabzamin reporter Mariam Chompa claimed, her report was not based on information provided by anyone

It is a matter of great surprise, Bangladeshi intelligence agencies are unaware of such connections between Manabzamin and enemies of Bangladesh. Furthermore, it also is a mystery as to why a very influential figure in the government is having connections with this tabloid.

Furthermore, Manabzamin reporter has admitted of maintaining connections with Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami as well as other anti-Bangladesh cyber criminals such as extortionist Facebook page and YouTube channel named ‘Nagorik TV’. It has also been alleged that this tabloid has earlier published several reports on the basis of information it received from Sami.

It may be mentioned here that, during BNP-Jamaat’s rule, Matiur Rahman Chouwdhury maintained extreme cordiality with several key figures including Harris Chowdhury and Tarique Rahman. Now he is openly patronizing notorious individuals such as Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey and publishing his anti-government contents with enthusiasm.

Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami, a self-styled journalist claims to be affiliated with Al Jazeera English, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Israeli newspaper Haaretz. He was expelled from Hungary several years ago on allegations of his involvement in terrorist acts as well as drug trafficking.

According to Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), which is one of the most comprehensive compendiums of information and analysis of terrorist groups and activities in the world, jihadist Zulkarnain Saer Khan threatened to behead a Hindu rights activist and professor Kushal Baran Chakraborty in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Following publication of series of investigative reports in Blitz exposing notorious activities of a jihadist terrorist and Hamas patron, Europe’s leading and most-influential multi-media news channel EuroNews, through a report titled ‘Cryptocurrency, drugs, money laundering: a Hungarian thread in the funding of Hamas’ has further exposed dangerous activities of Zulkarnain Saer Sami, alias Zulkarnain Saer, alias Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami alias Tanvir Md. Sadat, who after being deported from Hungary landed in the United Kingdom and sought asylum.

For the sake of country’s image, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina needs to ask authorities concerned to investigative Matiur Rahman Chowdhury’s romance with members of Al Qaeda-connected Bangladesh Nationalist Party as well as identified cyber criminals such as Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey and Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami.

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