Journalist claims Hefajat men assaulted him, forced him to recite Kalema to prove his Muslim identity


A journalist of a Bengali daily alleged that leaders and activists of Hefajat-e-Islam assaulted him and forced him to prove his Muslim identity when he was covering the demonstrations of the organisation on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Narayanganj’s Shimrail area on Sunday.

Daily Sangbad Narayanganj correspondent Sourav Hossain Siam said Hefajat men forced him to recite Kalemas to prove his Muslim identity when he said his name is Sourav. He revealed this on his personal Facebook account yesterday night. Siam is also the information and technology affairs secretary of Prothom Alo Bandhushava in Naranyanganj.

Siam in his Facebook status wrote, “Hefajat picketers engaged in violence against journalists all day on Sunday during the dawn-to-dusk hartal. I, Saurav Hossain Siam, was a victim of Hefajat’s attack myself. I had to prove my identity to them. I had to recite two Kalemas among four in front of them. I had to tell them how many Suras I have memorised. Fortunately they did not make me strip to see proof of my Muslim identity. If I was asked to do so, I would not have hesitated… It’s a lot that I could return alive.”

He was badly beaten up by Hefajat men and now in bed with severe pain, his post reads.

Siam told The Daily Star that he was humiliated and badly beaten by Hefajat men when he was filming their protest in front of the city’s Madaninagar Madrasa. The protesters also snatched his office identity card.

“They asked my name and when I said my name is Sourav, they intensified their assault thinking that I am Hindu,” he said, adding that he was later rescued by his fellow journalists.

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