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Bangladesh Politician Arrested for Trying to Instigate Army Revolt

Manna\'s telephonic conversations were made available on the internet on Monday by a number of online news portals and social media.

Published: 25th February 2015 08:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2015 08:55 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

DHAKA:  A prominent Bangladesh opposition politician has been arrested and charged with trying to "instigate army revolt", authorities said today, a day after his family alleged that he was kidnapped by police.

Mahmudur Rahman Manna has been arrested for trying to instigate revolt by the armed forces, Colonel Ziaul Hassan of anti-crime Raid Action Battalion (RAB) said.

His arrest comes days after the politician backed military intervention to end the ongoing deadly political turmoil in Bangladesh.

Manna was arrested after his telephonic conversations with a senior leader of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Sadek Hossain Khoka, and a former army officer became public.

62-year-old Manna was picked up yesterday by plain- clothed police officers here.

"Manna has been booked under Section 131 of the Penal Code for inciting the armed forces to revolt," Hassan said.

The announcement came as Manna's family earlier alleged some people identifying themselves as police detectives had abducted him yesterday from a relative's house while police said they did not arrest him and had no idea about his whereabouts.

Later today, a Dhaka court ordered Manna to be remanded in police custody for 10 days on a police prayer as he was escorted before the metropolitan magistrate.

"The court granted our (police) prayer seeking the 10-day remand," a police spokesperson told reporters.

Manna is a high-profile TV talk show speaker who also heads a forum called 'Nagorik Oikya' or "citizen's unity".

Manna has been kept at the Detective Branch office for subsequent legal procedures after he was charged under the Penal Code for inciting the armed forces to revolt, Dhaka Metropolitan Police told newsmen soon after the announcement.

Manna's telephonic conversations were made available on the internet on Monday by a number of online news portals and social media.

In a Facebook status earlier, Manna claimed his comments were "misinterpreted" in the media.

A former student leader, Manna was Awami League's organising secretary during 2007-2008.

Bangladesh, that has had at least 19 failed coups and two successful ones since it gained independence in 1971, is witnessing a political turmoil after its main opposition BNP party boycotted the 2014 general election.

The opposition is demanding fresh polls as it enforced a violent blockade. At least 110 people have been killed since the agitation started on January 5.

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