Rights group official arrested in Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities have arrested a senior official of a human rights organisation on charges of misleading people by disseminating "false information".

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2013, 15:12 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh authorities have arrested a senior official of a human rights organisation on charges of misleading people by disseminating "false information" about police actions against ultra fundamentalist Hefazat-e-Islam activists three months ago.

Odhikar`s secretary Adilur Rahman Khan Suvhro, who is allegedly linked closely with right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested under Information and Technology Act on Saturday.

"He has been arrested under the Information and Communication Technology Act," a police spokesman today told newsmen, adding Detective Branch officials picked him up from his residence at up market Gulshan area here.

The spokesman added detailed information about the arrest would be released soon.

Another senior police official, familiar with the arrest, said Shuvro was held for uploading a report on the Odhikar`s website, claiming that 61 people were killed during the May 5 police drive to chase Hefazat activists out of the Dhaka city.

The newly floated Hefazat, allegedly backed by Jamaat and main opposition BNP, had enforced their Dhaka siege programme on that day sparking a deadly violence.

Officials confirmed deaths of 21 people including policemen in Dhaka and the outskirts of the capital, and south-eastern port city of Chittagong on May 5 and on the next day while pro-opposition newspapers at that time put the figure as high as 28.

Odhikar is a leading independent rights group but Shuvro, a former deputy attorney general during the past BNP-led four-party rightwing government, is widely known for his stubborn anti-Awami League attitude.

A former left leaning activist, Shuvro is also now allegedly linked closely with Jamaat, whose leaders are now facing justice for the 1971 liberation war time "crimes against humanity" siding with Pakistani troops.

Meanwhile, BNP strongly condemned his arrest calling it "nothing but part of government conspiracies" and demanded his immediate release.

PTI