A rumor cell operated by the BNP has been active again centering Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit and participation in the G-20 summit. Recently, BNP-Jamaat supporters have started sharing an edited paper cutting of India’s Anandabazar newspaper on Facebook. But there was no such news on the website of Anandabazar and its e-paper. Instead, there were reports about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s meeting and discussions with various world leaders.
However, political experts believe that the tendency to spread fake news is not new for BNP. Earlier, an Indian journalist published a column in a so-called local newspaper based in Assam about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her son Sajeeb Wazed with baseless and misleading information before her G20 summit visit. Although this underground local media has not published opinions on international issues, this Indian writer quickly published six columns before the Prime Minister visited India. Each of these focuses on Bangladesh, the Bangabandhu family and the BNP. However, without verifying the information, BNP’s media cell shared the information about Sajeeb Wazed on their Twitter and other social media accounts.
It is believed that the BNP is spreading such rumor-based information to cover up the corruption and misdeeds of its leadership. BNP’s top leader Begum Khaleda Zia has multiple corruption proofs. The Singapore Police and the US intelligence agency FBI have provided evidence of corruption against Tarique Rahman. Along with this, there is numerous evidence of corruption in the country’s internal investigation. To divert people’s minds from all these anomalies and corruption, the BNP has been spreading rumors about ‘corruption’ by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her family members.
However, the Bangabandhu family has been one of the targets of BNP’s rumors since its birth. From Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, who was brutally murdered on August 15, there is no one about whom the party has not spread rumors. Eyewitnesses said that at that time there were ‘chikamara” or wall paintings with false and fabricated information. At present, they are spreading the same rumor on social media and so-called web portals run from abroad.
Rumors and misleading information about the Bangabandhu family are being spread by the different YouTube channels including Nagarik TV, BNP’s media cell and several other Facebook pages. Two presenters of Nagorik TV’s YouTube channel held a meeting with BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman. Political analysts say that the gang has used rumors as their tools to carry out a conspiracy against the government. The channel published several videos with titles like ‘Bangladesh Prime Minister has fled the country’, ‘Hasina is seeking refuge in India’, ‘The country is plunging into disaster’, ‘Sheikh Hasina will flee the country’, ‘The country is heading towards civil war’, and ‘Sheikh Hasina is leading the country towards civil war’.
Nagorik TV’s YouTube channel also published many posts such as ‘Sajeeb Wazed and Saima Wazed are banned from entering the United States and Canada’, ‘Sajeeb Wazed may be banned by Facebook,’ and ‘Sajeeb Wazed has acquired huge wealth’. These were later propagated by BNP-Jamaat supporters and activists. However, these so-called portals and platforms have repeatedly failed to provide any evidence in favor of this information.
Sajeeb Wazed is the Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor and Saima Wazed is a renowned mental health expert. International media highly appreciate their skills and achievements in their respective fields many times. On the contrary, the BNP-Jamaat gang has been busy spreading baseless information.
Nagorik TV’s YouTube channel also published a derogatory report against noted agriculture presenter Shykh Seraj for publishing a report on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s love for agriculture.
Various questions are being raised in the incident of spreading such false information by BNP supporters ahead of the country’s national elections. Analysis of social media posts shows that BNP Chairperson Tarique Rahman, son of Begum Khaleda Zia, is leading such propaganda and fake news. From London, Tarique Rahman is trying to inflict corruption allegations against the Prime Minister and her family. Recently, after Tarique Rahman met with Titu Rahman, head of Nagorik TV, such allegations have surfaced. Later an audio recording of Titu Rahman’s conversation came into the hands of the media. In the conversation, Titu is heard saying he met Tarique Rahman in London and interviewed him. But they need permission from Tarique Rahman himself to publish it! But he is reluctant to say what Tarique Rahman talked about.