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PEC expresses grief over demise of two Bangla reporters

Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expresses profound grief over the demise of two Bangladeshi journalists in a devastating fire that took place in Dhaka. The carnage on 29 February 2024 snatched away the lives of at least 46 people including Abhishruti Shastri and Tusar Hawlader, both of whom worked for Dhaka-based online media outlet The colleagues and family members identified the bodies of Abhishruti and Tusar at Dhaka medical college hospital morgue.

“It’s shocking that two young reporters had to lose their lives in the accident along with many other Bangla citizens. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina- led Bangladesh government in Dhaka should thoroughly investigate all the causes of the shocking fire incident in a crowded area and put accountability on guilty individuals,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (, adding that the nearest family members of both Abhishruti and Tusar should be compensated adequately.

The massive fire incident also left many others seriously injured, among them over 20 individuals are surviving in critical condition. PM Hasina, while expressing shock and sorrow over the fire, directed the concerned officials to take prompt initiatives for necessary treatment in the hospitals. A five-member probe panel has also been constituted by the government. However, the opposition leaders criticised Hasina government for not properly implementing safety rules & regulations in the congested capital city, where incidents of fire are regular happenings in Dhaka.

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PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that Abhishruti (also known as Bristi Khatun) was simultaneously pursuing education in Philosophy from Eden Women`s College in Dhaka. On the fateful evening, she went to a restaurant in Green Cozy Cottage on Bailey Road along with Tusar, where both faced the tragic end. Tusar worked for the online portal after completing his education from journalism department in Daffodil International University, Savar (Dhaka).

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