Daily Kaler Kantho

Background

Kaler Kantho is one of the leading print media outlets in Bangladesh and has been in publication since January 10, 2010.

Kaler Kantho is owned by the East-West Media Group Ltd., which is a concern of Bashundhara Group. The East West Media Group also publishes Bangladesh Pratidin, Daily Sun and owns a television channel named News24, a radio station known as Radio Capital, and an online news portal known as banglanews24.com

Abed Khan was the founder editor of Kaler Kantho. After a short span of time, Khan resigned as editor in June 2011. After Abed Khan’s resignation, famous fiction writer Imdadul Haq Milon took over as the editor.

Ownership and Key Individuals

Ahmed Akbar Sobhan (Shah Alam) is the Chairman of the business conglomerate Bashundhara Group. The business group is operating in real estate, cement manufacturing, paper and allied products, steel products, LP Gas, Shopping Complex, local and international trading. He owns most of the shares of East West Media Group Ltd.

Mustafa Kamal Mohiuddin is the founding Chairman of the East-West Media Group Ltd that owns banglanews24.com. He is the Chairman of Magura Group. He is involved with the garments industry. He is the Chairman of KORES (Bangladesh) Ltd. As per the official website, the company works with world-renowned brands including Walmart, Debenhams, TESCO, GAP, TAKKO and others. Previously he was the publisher of Kaler Kantho.

Sayem Sobhan Anvir is the  Founding Managing Director of East West Media Group Ltd. He is now the publisher of Kaler Kantho. He is the son of the Chairman of Bashundhara      Group. He is Managing Director with several companies including Bashundhara Group, Bashundhara Dredging Company Limited, Bashundhara Technical Institute (BTI), Bashundhara Convention Center, Bashundhara Foundation, Bashundhara Logistics Ltd, Bashundhara Industrial Complex Ltd, Bashundhara LP Gas Ltd, Bashundhara City Development Ltd, Bashundhara Paper Mill Limited, Bashundhara Steel Complex Limited, Bashundhara Steel and Engineering Limited, among others. Sayem completed his education in the United Kingdom. He studied at the King’s School in Ely, Cambridgeshire. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from American International University in London received in 2001.

Maynal Hossain Chowdhury is the publisher of Kaler Kantho, Bangladesh Pratidin, Daily Sun. He is an adviser to Bashundhara Group and secretary to Bashundhara Foundation and  Bashundhara Group Treasurer.

Enamul Hoque Chowdhury is the Editor of the Daily Sun.

Juel Mazhar is the Editor of the Banglanews24.com.

Naem Nizam is theChief Editor of the New24 and Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin and CEO, Radio Capital.

Imdadul Haq Milon is the Editor of the Kaler Kantho.

Mostafa Kamal is the Acting Editor of the Kaler Kantho.

Legal Cases

Over the years, especially during the army-backed caretaker government in 2007-08, the owner of the media house, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan faced several legal cases. Allegations range from land and river grabbing to tax evasion.

Along with Bashundhara chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam, his wife Afroza Begum, and his sons Sadat Sobhan, Safayet Sobhan, and Sayem Sobhan were sentenced to jail in the case by a special judge’s court in 2007. In 2015, the Supreme Court ordered them to surrender. The case was filed because Bashundhara Group did not declare income in three tax years. However, while taking loans from Sonali Bank, the group showed an income of over Tk 220 million during the same period. Additionally, The Kuddus and Company, the auditor responsible for furnishing false information, was also given a jail term.

The Anti-Corruption Commission pressed a charge sheet against the Ahmed Akbar Sobhan family for accumulating Tk 107 crore beyond their declared sources of income. Shah Alam and his family members previously whitened Tk 498.84 crore. According to the report, the owner of Bashundhara Group had paid Tk 21 crore to former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar to cover up the Humayun Kabir Sabbir murder case.

He also got bail in a river grabbing case in 2010. Interestingly, however, his lawyer was Fazle Noor Taposh???who is currently the Mayor of Dhaka city South and who also happens to be a nephew of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Ahmed Akbar Sobhan’s lawyer Fazle Noor Taposh claimed that the case was filed in 2007 while his client Ahmed Akbar Sobhan was abroad. And the allegation of stealing soil and sand against the owner of Bashundhara is false and harassing.

Sources

East West Media Group Ltd, http://www.ewmgl.com

The Daily Star, “Bashundhara Group chief, family charged with amassing Tk 107cr”, August 11, 2008, https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-49933

BDNews243, “Supreme Court orders Bashundhara Group chief to surrender in tax evasion case” February 03, 2015, https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2015/02/03/supreme-court-orders-bashundhara-group-chief-to-surrender-in-tax-evasion-case

Prothom Alo, ?????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ??????????????????????????? ??????????????? ???????????????, May 30, 2013, https://www.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/article/5932

Prothom Alo, ???????????? ????????? ????????????????????? ??????????????????????????? ????????????????????? ??????????????????, August 22, 2010, http://archive.prothom-alo.com/detail/date/2010-08-22/news/88579

Bashundhara Group, “Life and Works of the Chairman”, http://www.bashundharagroup.com/page/life-and-works-of-the-chairman

Jago News, “Mostafa Kamal resigns as Kaler Kantho acting editor”, June 2, 2020, https://www.jagonews24.com/en/national/news/50072

Magura Group, “Honourable Chairman” http://www.maguragroup.com.bd/index.php?area=online&action=chairmanspeech

KORES (Bangladesh) Ltd., “Who Are We”, https://www.koresbd.com/index.php?ref=about_us

Bangladesh Pratidin, ???????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????, July 18, 2018, https://www.bd-pratidin.com/national/2018/07/01/341767