Sparking rumors and accusations of censorship, the Bangladesh government heavily cracked down on over 30 news sites, including some pro-opposition portals and media.
According to reports in the Deccan Chronicle, national head of telecoms regulator, Bangladeshi Telecommunications and Regulatory Commissions (BTRC), shut down the sites late on Thursday night acting upon government orders. In a statement given to the AFP, BTRC chairman Shajahan Mahmood, claimed that they had shut down 32 news websites and portals following leads of intelligence agencies.
He further added that the list of websites included rather prominent portals like Sheershanews.com, popular for its quick news coverage and Amardeshonline, an online portal linked to a pro-opposition Bengali newspaper, that was shut down in 2013. Sheershanews head Ekramul Hoque, condemned the move and said, “We think it is a direct assault on the country’s freedom of press. The government is shutting down news organisations they don’t like, they want total control of the media.”
This comes after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina publicly condemned the coverage during the recent terror attacks and asked private broadcasters to be more responsible.
On Tuesday morning, the Bangladesh police rushed into a militant hideout near Dhaka. The gun battle killed nine suspected Islamic extremists. One wounded militant was captured and another successfully escaped. The operation Storm 26 was able to destroy the militants.
The militants were the members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). During the battle with the police they shouted “Allahu akbar” or “God is greatest”.
This is a banned group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The militants were hiding in a building in Kalyanpur, on the outskirts of the capital. They furiously fired on the officers when they tried to enter, the police said to the PTI.
After the attack the police officers told the reporters that the militants were wearing black outfits, turbans and had backpacks, so similar to the outfits that the attackers in the cafe had. He also added that they were plotting a major attack in the city like that of the cafe.
The building owners are questioned by the police. They have got hold of 13 grenades and a huge quantity of explosive gel, among other weapons, ranging from pistols to commando knives.
Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina said to the PTI that a speedy action saved Bangladesh from another terror attack.
Earlier this month, the cafe attack in Bangladesh killed 22 foreigners and five attackers.
Dhaka: Earlier on Thursday, the External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, on the visit to Dhaka, made a move on key issues like visa simplification and electricity supply from a Tripura-based power plant in a meeting with her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
She also focused on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), proposed Teesta river water sharing deal and the issue of illegal immigration. The LBA is yet to be approved by the parliament.
She was assisted by the Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and senior ministry officials during her talks with Hassan Mahmood Ali at the foreign office at Dhaka.
She also discussed the gas based power project at Palatana in Tripura and the supply of electricity to Bangladesh from the plant. The meeting also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in important areas including economics and trade.
For more read: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Sushma-Swaraj-hold-talks-with-Bangladesh-counterpart-meets-Sheikh-Hasina/articleshow/37248021.cms