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Demands for public apology from Mainul Husein after he calls Masuda Bhatti a ‘debauchee’
Journalist-columnist Masuda Bhatti has demanded a public apology from Mainul Husein, a former adviser to the military-controlled caretaker government, for hurling abuses at her on TV.
Mainul’s remarks have triggered a firestorm of anger and criticism on the internet since Tuesday night when he called Masuda a “debauchee” in Ekattor Journal, a talk show aired live on Ekattor TV.
There has been an outpouring of anger on the socal media about Mainul, one of the sponsors of the Dr Kamal Hossain-led new alliance with the BNP.
Over 100 female journalists and rights activists have also demanded that Mainul apologise publicly.
In the show, Masuda asked Mainul if claims made on the social media that he attends meetings of Dr Kamal’s Jatiya Oikya Front alliance as a Jamaat-e-Islami representative were true.
I thank you for your audacity. I want to believe that you are a debauchee. I don’t have any Jamaat connections. This question of yours is very much embarrassing for me. Please ask another question, Mainul replied.
As host Mithila Farzana asked Mainul to refrain from personally attacking someone in the show, Mainul asked, Why no-one is saying anything when I am personally attacked, being called a Jamaat man?
Masuda argued that she raised the issue after seeing a video post, which went viral recently, of Mainul telling a programme of Islami Chhatra Shibir that he had close connection with the Jamaat’s student front.
That’s why people want to know whether you are attending meetings as a Jamaat representative, she added.
Mainul then told her to pose questions related to the election.
Masuda asked whether he had any link to the filing of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case when he was an adviser to the 2007-08 caretaker government. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since February when she was sentenced to five years in prison in the case.
Mainul replied: This is why I am saying that the journalists have become so partisan that they don’t study before doing politics. I repeatedly said that in our time the Anti-Corruption Commission was totally independent. Don’t you understand that the ACC had her tried?
A person identifying himself as Raju Ahmed, an aide to Mainul, took the call when Bdchronicle tried to reach the former caretaker government adviser on phone.
That person said Mainul was in a meeting and had called Masuda to offer his apology. Mainul also sent a letter to Ekattor TV’s Mithila, he added.
In the letter, Mainul said he made some loose remarks out of anger about Masuda Bhatti and rang her up later to say sorry.
Masuda, senior executive editor of the daily Amader Orthoneeti, told that Mainul told her on the phone to not mind the remarks.
I’ve told him that apologising in this manner won’t work. He has made abusive remarks about me in public and now he must apologise publicly, she added.