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'False' report about India sends 3 Bangladeshi scribes to jail

Dhaka, Jan 17, 2014 (PTI) 20:19 IST
Reuters File Image. For representation only
Three senior Bangladeshi journalists of a pro-opposition newspaper have been arrested for publishing a "false" report that Indian forces had helped the government contain violence during the recent controversial polls.

Detectives raided the office of Inqilab, a Dhaka-based Bangla-language daily, yesterday and picked up the three journalists. They also sealed the press, plate-making and server rooms and seized three computers.

The raid was conducted hours after police filed a case against the newspaper for publishing "baseless" news that the Bangladesh government took assistance from the Indian Army and Border Security Force to contain violence in southwestern Satkhira district, which borders India.

News editor Rabiulla Ulla Robi, deputy chief reporter Rafiq Mohammad and diplomatic correspondent Ahmmed Atiq were today produced in a magistrate's court, which sent them to jail.

The court fixed Monday for hearing the remand and bail petitions of the arrested, Dhaka Tribune reported.

"It (the report) was a blatant lie and it was published with a clear aim to jeopardise Bangladesh's relations with India...it coud have triggered a riot," Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told reporters.

He said the report also insulted security forces like the Border Guard Bangladesh and Rapid Action Battalion, which were deployed to contain violence in Satkhira ahead of the January 5 polls.

Police officials said the journalists were arrested for publishing a "highly sensational" report that was "totally untrue". "They were arrested under a specific law and will be exposed to justice," a police spokesman said.

The Foreign Ministry rubbished the report, saying a purported Dhaka-Delhi communication it cited was a "production of photoshop technique".

The front-page report in the rightwing newspaper purportedly quoted matter from social media sites and incorporated alleged reactions from government officials and analysts.

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