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Bangladesh: 15 charged with sedition

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February 28, 2005 15:30 IST
Bangladesh police on Monday charged 15 people, arrested for alleged militant activities, for sedition as two ruling coalition leaders said the recent crackdown against Islamic groups was a "conspiracy" to create distance betweeen the government and the Islamists.

The leader of the Islamic group Jamaatul Mujahedin (JM), Asadullah al Ghalib, a teacher at the Rajshahi University, was also charged for sedition.

Ghalib has been quizzed by a joint interrogation team of army and police after he was brought to capital Dhaka from northwestern Rajshahi district Sunday following a 10-day remand given by a court, local daily Prothom Alo said.

Bangladesh banned two Islamic groups Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) and JM on February 23, saying the groups were exploting religious sentiments to achieve their goals and were linked to different criminal activities, including "murder, dacoity, bombing and threats".

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Meanwhile, two prominent Islamic leaders of Islami Oikkya Jote party, a partner in Prime Minister Khaleeda Zia's four-party alliance said the recent crackdown on Islamists was a "conspiracy" to create differences between the government and Islamists.

"The government should have taken the opinion of its partners in the alliance before taking such decisions to please anti-Islamic forces," Shaikul Hadish Allama Azizul Huq and Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini, leaders of IOJ said in a published joint statement.

"A conspiracy is being hatched to create distance between the government and the Islamic forces by banning of two Islamic organisations," they alleged.

More reports from Bangladesh

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