Special security measures for writers, artistes sought

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An intelligence agency has asked the government to strengthen security for teachers, journalists, writers, bloggers and progressive personalities who believe in the spirit of the Liberation War.

Several eminent personalities have already sought security from the government. The government has asked them not to panic.

Some publishers, writers and artistes sent letters to the home ministry last week expressing concern over their security. A few of them met the home minister personally to express their security concerns.

Several persons who received death threats, have filed general diaries (GDs) with their respective police stations following the home ministry’s direction.

An artiste, who received a death threat, sought security on Sunday, contacting the home minister in person. The artiste feared an attack as motorcyclists were seen in groups around his residence.

Professor emeritus Anisuzzaman received a threat on his life through an SMS on Tuesday afternoon.

The threat came around 4:33pm from the cell phone number, 01738-725815 through a text message written in English.

The message read, “Why do you support bloggers and uphold their statements? Do you want to die and scream in pain from a machete attack?”

The threat came hours after Prof Anisuzzaman and 37 other intellectuals issued a statement demanding justice for the killing of writers and publishers at around 2:00pm.

Competent sources of the government said several ministers have received death threats through text messages and additional security measures have been taken up for a minister in this regard.

According to the home ministry, Somoy Prokashan publisher Farid Ahmed received a death threat from unidentified miscreants on 1 November.

Law enforcement agencies have been seeing this threat as a ‘high risk threat’ and advised him to be cautious.

Farid Ahmed sought security from the home ministry.

When contacted, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Prothom Alo on Tuesday, “We are supporting everyone who came to us seeking security. Police escort has been provided for many in their offices and homes.”

“We advised them to file GDs and not to panic over these threats,” Asaduzzaman added.

An intelligence agency has recommended that the government strengthen security for certain personalities.

According to the intelligence report, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir have planned to carry out subversive activities across the country centring on the execution of war crimes convicts Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.
It also said that their target would be journalists, university teachers, progressive writers and bloggers who believe in the spirit of Liberation War.
The report also said that both SQ Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed have individual groups of activists who can conduct any type of untoward incidents. Both the leaders have close connections with political parties of Pakistan and Middle East and it would not be surprising that they have links with international terrorist organisations, too.