Shahara claimed that newspapers fabricated the news

Defending State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku’s advice to journalists ‘stay safe distance from police’, Home Minister Shahara Khatun on Friday again claimed that newspapers fabricated the news.

‘I regret the police assaults on journalists …We are taking punitive actions against the persons responsible…,’ she told a meet-the-press organised by the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity at its Segunbagicha office in the city.

‘We became the victims of repression when we were in the opposition and you [journalists] published reports and photographs of the incidents,’ she said.

When asked about the reported comments of Shamsul Haque asking the journalists to ‘keep away from the police’, the home minister said, ‘I asked him [ Shamsul] in the presence of Matia Apa [agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury] if he had made such comments. He told us that his comments had been twisted by the media.’

Mentioning that there are 141,000 police personnel in the country, she reiterated, "I never say all are well behaved. But the government is working to make it a pro-people force.”

In her initial speech, Shahara said present situation of the country is batter than any previous period. However, the administration may make some mistakes.

She said, “The journalists’ community is not outsiders. You are also a part of our society. So, you have every right to find out our faults and give necessary advice.”
“Your lawful advice will help us to carry out our duties properly”, she added.

During yesterday's press conference, the home minister denied that she had asked law enforcers to arrest the killer(s) of journalist couple Sagar and Runi within 48 hours.

She said, “I asked police to arrest the killers as soon as possible.”

She once again claimed that police were now “far better” than ever.

Asked about the ongoing extrajudicial killings by law enforcers she responded with posing a question that what law enforcers would do when they were attacked by criminals.

When a reporter said families of many “shootout” victims claimed that law enforcers had arrested the victims before they were shown killed in crossfire, Shahara told him to bring those families directly to her.