Bangladesh on high alert following brutal killing of 3 bloggers: Minister

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Dhaka, Jun 8: Bangladesh is on high alert following the hacking to death of three secular bloggers in recent months, a senior minister said as he blamed home-grown elements like fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for the brutal killings that made global headlines.

"In our country, there are times when such incidents do take place when the fundamentalists try to create a problem by disturbing the peaceful atmosphere but we are on a high alert so that they don't get successful in their plans," Minister of state for Home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan said.

Bangladesh on high alert: Minister

"Not only bloggers, they have sent threats to leading intellectuals of our country and also politicians, including me but we can't be cowed down by such threats," Khan told PTI.

When asked what are the steps the government has taken in the aftermath of the killings that shocked the international community, Khan said fool-proof security has been arranged for the bloggers.

"We have also taken action and arrested few suspects," he added.

[Bangladesh bans Islamist group linked to blogger killings]

However, responding to a question, Khan ruled out any involvement of an international terrorist organisation like al-Qaeda or its Indian chapter al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in the killings of Ananta Bijoy Das, Avijit Roy and Washiqur Rahman.

"No, I don't think so there is any involvement of any foreign organisation like al-Qaeda or other terror groups. This is the handiwork of our home-grown elements like Jamaat who have been trying to create problems in our country for last few years," he said.

He also echoed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's commitment that Bangladeshi soil won't be allowed to be used by any terrorist group as a launching pad against India.

Khan said that the Bangladesh government is a taking stern action against some fundamental elements for their role in fake Indian currency notes (FICN) rackets which are causing an adverse impact on the economy of both the countries.

"The Bangladeshi soil won't be allowed to used for any anti-Indian activity. India is a friend of Bangladesh. The Awami League government after coming to power has taken strong action against such elements whoever is involved in anti-India activity.

"After dollar, Indian rupee is most familiar currency in terms of trade and business in Bangladesh as every day people from India and Bangladesh are visiting both the countries. So if a fake currency racket is active, it is not at all good for either of the countries," Khan said.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka on Saturday, Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on Prevention of Human Trafficking; Prevention of Smuggling and Circulation of Fake Currency notes; and setting up an Indian Economic Zone were also reached by the two sides.

PTI

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