* Shibir cadre, Freedom Party leader, listed criminals, extortionists, and land grabbers are owners of IP TV channels
* Failing to launch mainstream media, Jamaat-Shibir leaders have resorted to IP TV
* None of the IP TVs has govt approval
* The authorities are in the dark about contents of the IP TVs
Col (sacked) Faruque Rahman is one of the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He formed a political party named “Freedom Party.” IP TV Owners Association President Mohammad Ataullah Khan was affiliated with the infamous Freedom Party. He was involved in the politics of Chhatra Shibir, student wing of anti-liberation organisation Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.
On various occasions, these people introduce themselves to be connected to the ruling Awami League without having party’s primary membership or organisational posts. Some of them say they are leaders of 14-party alliance partners. Opening IP TV channel in Youtube, they pretend to be owners of regular or mainstream TV channel.
There is no official statistics as to how many IP TV channels are operating in the country but available data shows that most of the channels are being owned and run by anti-liberation organisation Jamaat and its student wing Chhatra Shibir. Failing to open mainstream electronic media, they opted to be owners and operators of IP TV.
Getting mushroom growth, the IP TV channels are devoid of any government approval and licence. The authorities are in the dark about the content of such channels. Due to spicy, motivated and unfiltered contents in the IP TVs, the mainstream television channels are cornered. The owners of the mainstream TV channels demanded immediate step to stop the IP TVs. If the Youtube TV channels run by controversial people cannot be resisted, the audiences will get a wrong message about mainstream media.
Rozina Sultana, deputy secretary (TV-2) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said “The ministry is yet to approve any IP TV channel. Many people have applied for registration and ministry is working to finalise the issue in line with National Online Mass Media Policy.”
IP TV “CTG Crime” being run by arms case accused Tinu
Nur Mostafa Tinu is the second of the four brothers and five sisters born to their parents. His elder brother Mohammad Selim is leader of Jamaat-e-Islami and his younger brother Nur Mohammad Shipu is president of Chhatra Dal of Chawkbazar unit of Chattogram.
In 2003, Tinu was arrested with Chinese AK 22 rifle and one magazine from Gol Pahar area of Chattogram. After Awami League came to power in 2009, he introduced himself to a be a leader of Juba League, a front organisation of ruling party. He faced another case for carrying arms and explosive in 2012. RAB arrested him with a foreign pistol, a shotgun, and 67 rounds of bullet on September 23, 2019.
Tinu is facing several cases for attacking police at Chattogram College and Mohsin College, committing extortion in Panchlaish and Chandgaon police stations and grabbing lands in the port city. Being godfather of “youth gang”, Tinu showed his name in the list of the police in 2018. He is operating IP TV named CTG Crime
Chattola 24 IP TV run by Shibir cadre Mohammad Hasan
Shibir cadre Mohammad Hasan has three storey and luxurious duplex house at Rauzan in Chattogram. He is owner of a gorgeous flat at a building named Ambia Sherin located behind Chattogram Press Club. He has Land Cruiser, Hyundai jeep and Toyota Premio car. He is in possession of two arms. In facebook page, he introduces himself as a minister, MP and top leader of Awami League. Majority of the people of Chattogram know Hasan as killer of Bangladesh Workers Party leader and Nazirhat College principal Gopal Krishna Muhuri. Gopal Krishna Muhuri was killed for banning politics of Chhatra Shibir in his college on November 16, 2001. Police arrested Hasan in connection with the murder case on August 20, 2002. However, he was acquitted of the murder charge for lack of evidence.
Besides, Hasan has previous criminal record. On December 11, 1999, police arrested him with rifle and bullet from Delight Restaurant, The former Shibir cadre is now operating Chattala 24 IP TV.
Janata TV of Freedom Party and former Shibir ‘leader’: According to the identity mentioned in Muhammad Ataullah Khan’s visiting card, he is the secretary general of Bangladesh Gano Azadi League. The party is a partner of the 14-party alliance.
Ataullah Khan, who owns an IP TV called Janata TV, is the president of the IP TV Owners Association. He is accused of being involved in Chhatra Shibir politics. It has also been alleged that he used to do the Freedom Party of 'Colonel' Farooq, the murderer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. For these reasons, Ataullah Khan was expelled from the post of General Secretary of Gano Azadi League in 2020.
Ataullah Khan’s house is in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar. His brother Shafiqullah Khan was the Freedom Party candidate for Maheshkhali-Kutubdia constituency in 1996. Ataullah Khan has campaigned for the Freedom Party on behalf of his brother. Besides, in the 1996-97 academic year, he was the Vice President (VP) candidate from the Chhatra Shibir panel in the Chittagong Law (Law) College Chhatra Sangsad elections, according to several people.
Asked about Ataullah Khan, Maheshkhali-Kutubdia MP Asheq Ullah said, “Their family does not belong to the Awami minded. Ataullah Khan was the central director of Panjeri Shilpi Gosthi, a cultural organization of Jamaat-Shibir. Their family is controversial. Their family has friendship with Major Dalim, the killer of Bangabandhu. '
Asked about the allegations, Ataulah Khan said, “There is a political conspiracy against me. I studied at Chittagong University; this is my crime. There is no such thing that you will be Shibir, if you study at Chittagong University. I have visited India with the Prime Minister. DGFI, NSI have investigated about me.
He said “If so, there would be a case in my name. There are now two groups in the Gano Azadi League. We expelled them. Syed Shamsul Alam Hasu Tarkabagish, son of Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish, the founder of Gano Azadi League, is the chairman of our committee. We are the mainstream people of Gano Azadi League.”
Aryan Lenin’s ‘C Vision’: Aryan Lenin from Chattogram owns another IP TV. He is accused of taking money from various businessmen in Chattogram by threatening them.
On April 20 last year, Sheth Group Managing Director (MD) Mohammad Solaiman Alam Sheth filed a general diary (GD) at Chattogram’s Chawkbazar police station against C Vision owner Aryan Lenin.
In the GD, he was accused of taking unethical advantage as a journalist and threatening to publish fictional news.
When contacted, Mohammad Solaiman Alam Sheth said, “I made a GD on such allegations last year.” He did not want to say more.
On the night of September 5 last year, RAB-4 raided the office of an IP TV called ‘News TV Bangla’ on the third floor of Mollah Market in Hemayetpur, Savar. RAB arrested Asma Ritu, Washim Hossain and Mahabuba Begum along with IP TV correspondent Didarul Islam Didar on charges of embezzling money and cheating in the name of hiring journalists. Tk 90,000, yaba and foreign liquor were seized from the office.
Unu Mong, senior ASP of RAB-4’s Mirpur camp, said, “For a long time, Didar and his accomplices had been renting an office in Hemayetpur, Savar, in the name of journalism, hostage, extortion and cheating people in various ways. Not only that, there were allegations that the gang was embezzling money in the name of appointing representatives in different districts of the country.”
Didarul Islam is currently out on bail. Acknowledging the veracity of the RAB operation, Didarul Islam said, “It is right that RAB conducted the operation. The case is still pending with the police.”
In this way, unapproved IP TVs have spread all over the country. Mainstream TVs have been cornered in many ways due to these IP TVs.
In this regard, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, a journalist leader, former information adviser to the Prime Minister and chairman of DBC News Channel, said, “What is happening in the country in the name of online, in the name of IP TV, especially after being caught on Jayayatra TV, that is not a good thing in terms of journalism.”
He also said before licensing IPTV, its requirements, rationality and ethics, to what extent they will comply, that has to be seen. Otherwise, it will be seen that they will pose a big threat to the original journalism, electronic journalism.