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March 31, 2009 | Asia

Why Forces Intelligence attacked Weekly Blitz office in Bangladesh?

Sunita Paul

Now it is one plus month old story. An officer belonging to Bangladesh´s forces intelligence co-led the gang of armed thugs, who attacked the office of country´s most influential newspaper, Weekly Blitz on February 22, 2009, physically assaulted the members, ransacked the office, and looted properties in broad-day-light in presence of police and other intelligence agencies.

DGFI officer Shamim (who gave his identity in presence of members of law enforcing agencies), told the members of Blitz that, he had instruction from his high-ups to "give a proper lesson" to the editor and other members of the newspaper as they advocate relations between Israel and Bangladesh as well as condemn radical Islam. According to DGFI officer Shamim, such actions and stands by Weekly Blitz were ´tarnishing the image of Bangladesh´.

Weekly Blitz editor, internationally known journalist and peace advocate Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury drew the attention of several high officials of DGFI in writing right after the incident. Surprisingly authorities in DGFI are continuing to maintain total silence on this matter.

Although it was initially unclear as to why an officer from Forces Intelligence was leading the gang of attackers, recently the matter turned crystal clear when Bangladeshi commerce minister Col. Faruk Khan told reporters that, Islamist militants have penetrated inside the disciplined forces in the country.

Commenting on the recent massacre inside the headquarters of Bangladesh´s Para-military force named Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Mr. Khan on February 12, 2009 said the banned militant outfit Jama´atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was involved in the BDR mutiny staged February 25-26 at the border force´s headquarters in Dhaka, in which a large number of army officers were brutally killed.

The ex-military man now a politician, also the coordinator for the probe bodies extensively investigating into the mutiny compounded with the massacre at Bangladesh Riffles (BDR) headquarters.

"We have so far identified some persons in the BDR who are associated with JMB," Faruk said, claiming to be based on feedback from the investigators.

It is evidently clear that Bangladesh´s present government has evidence of militants inside the disciplined forces. Otherwise, a senior minister would not have made such public statement. So, there is scope to question as to whether that militant group inside the disciplined forces decided to send DGFI officer Shamim to Weekly Blitz office to co-lead the gang of attackers. Silence of Bangladeshi intelligence agencies on the matter of attack on Blitz office also proves that, certainly the attacked was well planned and supported by influential members in the intelligence agencies as well as the ruling government.

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