Minor blast near Prez Pranab’s hotel in Dhaka
Dhaka: A minor explosion was heard on Monday afternoon right outside a hotel in Dhaka where President Pranab Mukherjee is staying on his three-day official visit to Bangladesh.
According to reports, nobody was injured in the incident and no damage was done to any property near the closely-guarded hotel. President Mukherjee is completely safe and the authorities have beefed up the security arrangements in and around the hotel.
Meanwhile, the local authorities have begun investigating in what is believed to be a crude cocktail bomb blast.
President Pranab’s visit to Bangladesh comes at a time when tension runs in the neighbouring country after the sentencing of Delwar Hossain Sayedee, senior leader of an Islamist party, for his role in mass murder and rape during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
Delwar Hossain Sayedee has been awarded death sentence by a local Bangladesh court.
Over 70 people have been killed since then.
The President landed in Dhaka on Sunday amid a two-day strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami to protest the death sentence awarded to its chief, Delwar Hossain Sayedee.
President Mukherjee, addressing a convocation ceremony at Dhaka University, said this morning to students, "The future of Bangladesh is in your hands. You should know that you have a past which is steeped in glory, and a future that is full of promise. I have been deeply impressed by the maturity, awareness and involvement of the youth of Bangladesh in the task of nation building."
Thousands of students have organised the Shahbagh movement, named for a neighbourhood in Dhaka. Using Facebook, Twitter and blogging forums, the protests have galvanised mass support to demand death penalty for those guilty of war crimes, mostly Jamaat activists.