Press Trust of india

Top leader of hardline Islamist group arrested in Bangladesh

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Dhaka: A top leader of a hardline Islamist group was arrested in eastern Bangladesh’s Sylhet city on Friday, as the government continued to crack the whip on anti-government protesters, according to a media report.

The legal affairs expert of Hefazat-e-Islam, Advocate Maulana Shahinur Pasha Chowdhury, was apprehended by the the Criminal Investigation Department officials at Subidbazar in Sylhet, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

However, the police have not disclosed the charges against Chowdhury, who has earlier served as the Member of Parliament from Sunamganj III.

Dozens of Hefazat leaders and activists have been arrested in recent weeks after the hardline Islamist group waged anti-government protests.

Some Hefazat leaders have been charged for instigating violence during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit in March and orchestrating the violent demonstrations in 2013 when several people were killed as the group demanded the enactment of a blasphemy law.

Chowdhury was elected the Member of Parliament in the Sunamganj III by-election in 2005, after the death of sitting MP, Abdus Samad Azad.

Chowdhury has also served as the vice president of Islamist political party, Jamiat-e Ulama-e-Islam Bangladesh. He has contested the general elections in 2008 and 2018, losing both times.

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