August 22, 2007

Crackdown in Bangladesh after curfew, blogger and journalists beaten, detained & later released

We have seen dramatic developments today in Bangladesh. The riot went on in the 3rd day and the Government imposed curfew.

(Photo courtesy Emela/The Daily Star)

More Photos uploaded in Flickr by E-Bangladesh.

BDNews24 reports that the curfew has stranded many:
Hundreds of thousands of people walked home as the news of the curfew spread amid a flare of emergency-time violence that swept much across of the country. The order derailed public transports. Buses stayed off the roads. Only rickshaws and some autorickshaws plied on, but they were too inadequate for thousands of passengers waiting by the side of the road to reach home before the curfew started at 8pm Wednesday. Hundreds of people were standing stranded on the streets after the curfew started, as transports were unavailable.
In another disturbing news scores of journalists have been arrested or beaten by the army during the first few hours of the curfew:
Army officers arrested three journalists of—Liton Haider, Biplob Rahman (also a blogger) and Asif Ahmed Rommo—as they were heading home after work. They were stopped at a checkpoint, 200 metres from the office in Dhanmondi. The army also severely beat Sanaul Haque, a New Age photographer, the newspaper's acting chief reporter Shahiduzzaman told
The chief of Government Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has:
blamed "evil forces" for the spread of countrywide violence since Monday. In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Fakhruddin said the government was forced to impose a curfew to stop the ongoing illegal activities and to save the lives and property of people. "It [curfew] is a temporary step and will be withdrawn after an improvement in the situation,"
Addabaj asks "who are the evil forces?". He reminds if Army and Police did not show excess then it would not have happened.

Dhaka News reports law adviser Barrister Moinul Hossain warned Jouranlists about the news coverage on the volatile situation in Bangladesh. He asked them to write carefully and responsibly.

Meanwhile E-Bangladesh has reports and podcasts from the ground:
# Authorities have shut down the mobile network all over Bangladesh till 7 AM tomorrow.
# Unconfirmed reports are coming in that some Internet service providers have also disconnected their subscribers.
# E-Bangladesh has received notifications from international Telecom operators that some of the Telecom switches that connects Bangladesh to the outside world has been blocked unofficially.
# In Dhaka university, all of the residential dormitories have been vacated. Our correspondents report that large army convoys are now patrolling the campus. Army members withdrawn earlier from the camp inside Dhaka University campus have returned.
# Unconfirmed reports from the campus say the army and police are now on with a house to house raid inside the campus with a list of student leaders and teachers to be detained. A large number of university teachers have left their university residences for safe locations outside the campus.
# Earlier, unidentified men detained 2 left-wing student leaders near Dhaka University mosque. Their current whereabouts are yet to be confirmed.
# One of our correspondents from Savar reports that truck loads of military personnel and SUVs came out of the Savar Cantonment early in the evening and proceeded towards Dhaka city and Gazipur.
# Day-long clashes between students-police and army across the country left at least 3 dead and more than a thousand injured. Of the dead, 2 in Rajshahi and 1 in Chittagong. Unconfirmed reports however place the death-toll at 6.
# Businesses owned by cabinet members of the interim government came under attack in Dhaka. A procession by students of Tejgaon College vandalized the headquarters of Square Group in Mohakhali. In Panthapath, Square Hospital was vandalized. Square Group is the family business of Energy Adviser Tapon Chowdhury.
# Earlier the Dhanmondi residence of Education Adviser Ayub Quadri came under attack.
International News Reactions (via Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers):

* BBC, "video report"


* Washington Post

* Guardian Unlimited

Update I: The journalists have been released. This blogger asks why the security forces detained them when it was announced that people with job ID can get back home?

Update II: Suchinta Blog is asking is Ruhul Amin the next president of Bangladesh? Read the post to know why.

Update III: E-Bangladesh's second audio podcast report is more scary:
# Closure of all the universities for an indefinite period.
# Censorship has been imposed on the media.
# Mobile phone networks shut down from 5:30PM-7:00AM.
# Bangladesh virtually disconnected from the outside world.
# All Internet traffic routed through BTTB.
# Dristipat, E-Bangladesh, Mukto-Mona, Blogspot might get blocked.
# 3 journalists from CSB news arrested for broadcasting “disturbing news.”
# RAB assaults journalists.
# Teachers in Dhaka University abused by army members.
Update IV: More International news reactions

* Bangladesh private TV channels blackout student unrest stories - China's Peoples Daily Online

* Bangladesh government orders mobile phones shutdown ahead of curfew -IHT

* Bangladesh universities closed to quell student unrest - Indian Muslims

* Bangladesh Interim Leader: Curfew to be Lifted Once Situation Improves - VOA

* Student violence a first major test for Dhaka government -

* Curfew exemptions -The Daily Star


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