Dhaka: A senior Bangladeshi minister Wednesday accused a leader of the main opposition party BNP of orchestrating the murder of an Italian aid worker as part of a plot to destabilise the government.
"According to the information we have gathered, a BNP leader identified as M A Qayyum was one of the masterminds behind the murder of the Italian aid worker," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters.
Cesare Tavella, 50, was shot thrice from a close range on September 28 while he was jogging. Five days later, a 66-year-old Japanese farmer was also killed by unidentified assailants in a similar attack on the outskirts of northern Rangpur city sparking an international uproar.
Both the murders and blasts outside a Shia shrine in the capital have been claimed by the dreaded Islamic State terror group.
Qayyum is a former Councillor of Dhaka City Corporation and he is now staying in Malaysia, officials said.
The four suspects arrested in connection with Tavella's murder earlier this week say they received orders for the murder from Qayyum's younger brother who is now on the run, officials said.
Some media reports have also said the orders of Tavella's murder actually came from a Bangladeshi source in London and the funds to carry out the murder were also channelled from the British capital.
A Bangladeshi newspaper got in touch with Qayyum in Malaysia and he denied any involvement in the murder.
There is no organisational form of Islamic State in Bangladesh, Home Minister Kamal reiterated today, hours after SITE defended its report on IS activities here.
"Those who claim to be IS here are offshoots of militant outfits Huji, al-Qaeda, JMB. They all have their roots within Jamaat-Shibir," he told reporters.
There is a local and international conspiracy to stir up instability in the country, he said.
"We are arresting them (militants) all. They will be brought to face justice," he said.