Islamic terrorists attacks Indian journalist

via published on August 6, 2006

During Saran’s visit, Indian scribe attacked in Dhaka

Pramod Kumar Singh | New Delhi

In an act which could be termed as cocking a snook at India, Islamic militants broke through a high security area in Dhaka on the night of July 31 and attacked All India Radio (AIR) Special Correspondent DN Mohanty.

Incidentally, Mohanty was attacked when Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was in Dhaka. A seriously wounded Mohanty was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Dhaka at 11.30 pm and remained in coma for over 42 hours.

The attack on the Indian scribe, who comes from the Indian Information Service (IIS) is an indication of things to come in the next few months ahead of the General Elections in Bangladesh. It is yet to be ascertained which group was involved in the attack.

The incident took place at around 10 pm on July 31 when Mohanty was returning to his residence in Gulshan area of the city after attending a briefing of the Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran in Hotel Sheraton late in the evening.

When he entered the Gulshan area residential compound, he was handed some mail by the security guard at the entrance. He then entered the lift in which two persons were waiting for him. Before he could comprehend their motive, they attacked the AIR correspondent.

Mohanty, who lives in Dhaka with his wife and daughter, was alone as his family was in Delhi for vacation. Mohanty is known in journalistic circles in Dhaka as a hardworking and no-nonsense correspondent.

At the time of the attack, the only person present on the floor was Mohanty’s neighbour’s maid. She told the Indian officials that there was heavy banging on the door for more than 10 minutes but when she called the security personnel of the complex, they failed to respond for another 10 minutes.

She identified Mohanty who was lying on the floor in an unconscious state. She pleaded with the guards to at least inform the Indian High Commission which is situated across the road as she thought that Mohanty was dying.

After much persuasion, Mohanty was finally taken to Apollo Hospital where he remained in a coma for the next two days before he recovered. Obviously acting under the influence of Dhaka Police and the Government, the doctors treating Mohanty tried to mislead the local media by saying that Mohanty was down with food poisoning. This despite the fact that Mohanty had multiple injuries on his face, chest and right arm.

The attack on Mohanty took place barely two hours before the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan were expected to meet after the talks between the two sides were stalled following the Mumbai blasts. Earlier, Indian security agencies had warned of Islamic militants targeting Indian diplomats during G-8 Summit at St Petersburg. However, preventive measures ensured that nothing of that sort took place.

This incident was brought to the knowledge of Saran who kept mum over this outrageous incident. Sources told The Pioneer, the response of Indian Foreign office was very timid and the issue allowed to be buried.

No breakthrough is expected in the case as Bangladesh police has a very poor record of cracking sensitive cases. They have failed to make any progress on the killing of a former Bangladesh Finance Minister, the attack on the current British High Commissioner and the bomb attack on Awami Party chief and former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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