When all the demands of the students protesting in the road safety movement were accepted by the Prime Minister on 02 August 2018, the vested quarters, namely Chhatra Dal and Islami Chhatra Shibir, the violent student fronts of BNP and Jamaat, that had already infiltrated the movement in disguise of students, realized that their ill motive of destabilizing the situation would not materialize, they resorted to a massive disinformation campaign on the social media. The blatant lies and absolute falsehood even included murder and rape of protesting students by members of the student front of the ruling party, Bangladesh Awami Lesgue at its office in Dhanmondi area in the capital city Dhaka. The party leadership instantly invited some protesting students to visit and search the party office and found nothing related to the massive disinformation campaign, which they said afterwards in interviews with the media.
When the protesting students began to leave the streets as their demands were accepted by the Government and some of those were already implemented, Photojournalist Shahidul Alam, as a last ditch effort to mislead and misguide the returning students, spoke with Al Jazeera TV via Skype on 05 August 2018 in his polished and articulate English deliberately said a number of arbitrary things that were absolutely false and unrelated to the road safety movement. His motive, in line with that of Chhatra Dal and Islami Chhatra Shibir, was to try and create disturbances leading to violence causing loss of life and property. His totally false public utterances had serious elements of threat to National Security and the Government had no other option but to arrest him for maintaining law and order and protect people’s life and property.
Though Shahidul Alam is not the representative element of Bangladesh’s vibrant civil society yet it was extremely unfortunate to see that he, having a large following for his skills in photography, did not use that to urge the students to end their remaining protest and go back home as all their demands were already accepted by the Prime Minister. His public utterances were not at all reflective of maturity and sensibility, that are expected from a responsible member of civil society, which he claims of belonging to.
For reference please visit Dhaka Tribune report of 5th August 2018 👉 https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/dhaka/2018/08/05/fact-check-rumours-that-spread-during-saturday-s-protests