Bangladesh opposition says internet cut to HQ
November 20 2018 10:27 AM
Tarique Rahman
BNP's acting chief, Tarique Rahman, who is living in exile in Britain, had been helping interview potential candidates ahead of general elections on December 30.

AFP/Dhaka

Bangladesh's main opposition party said Tuesday that authorities have cut internet access at its headquarters after its exiled acting chief conducted interviews with potential election candidates via Skype.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said that internet access at its Dhaka headquarters was cut late on Monday. 
"We don't know who did it, but it was done to stop our acting chairman from holding interviews on Skype," party spokesman Sayrul Kabir Khan told AFP.
Local media reported meanwhile that Skype, the internet telephone service, has also been cut nationwide but the national telecoms authority denied this, suggesting there were technical problems instead.
BNP's acting chief, Tarique Rahman, who is living in exile in Britain, had been helping interview potential candidates ahead of general elections on December 30.
There is no immediate comment from police or officials.
Bangladesh's ruling Awami League has complained to the election commission that Rahman's participation in the interviews was illegal as he has criminal convictions.
Rahman was sentenced in absentia to life in prison last month over his role in the 2004 grenade attack on a political rally of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 
But the election commission has said it cannot take any action against him because Rahman has not violated any rules in taking part in the interviews.
The 165-million-strong South Asian nation is gearing up for its first competitive election in 10 years after the BNP and its allies boycotted 2014 polls over fears it would be rigged.
The opposition has demanded that Hasina quit before the polls and let a caretaker government oversee them. But Hasina has rejected the idea.
The party has also accused the government of ordering police to detain thousands of its activists in an effort to weaken its nationwide grassroots ahead of the vote.



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