Bangladesh arrests top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami


DHAKA: Bangladesh police on Monday night arrested the top leaders of the country’s largest Islamist party, an official said, as the government appeared to have launched a crackdown on the main opposition parties.
Nine people were arrested after a raid on a house in Dhaka’s northern neighbourhood of Uttara, including the top leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, Maqbul Ahmed, deputy leader Shafiqur Rahman and former member of parliament Golam Parwar.
“We learnt from a secret source they were holding a meeting at a secret place at a house in Uttara Sector Number Six. We have found some papers from that place,” Dhaka Police deputy commissioner Shaikh Nazmul Alam told AFP, adding they were investigating the documents. He did not say what the Jamaat leaders were arrested for, but that “most of them were fugitive”.
Prothom Alo, the country’s largest newspaper, said the leaders were arrested on charges of sabotage. The arrests came as the government appeared to have launched a crackdown on the opposition parties after it came under heavy flak for its handling of the Rohingya crisis which has seen a massive influx of refugees fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar.
Earlier in the day, a court in the country’s east issued an arrest warrant against main opposition leader Khaleda Zia after she failed to appear at a hearing over charges related to a 2015 fire-bombing of a bus that killed eight people. Zia has been visiting her exiled son in London for the last two months and is expected to return home later this month.