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Bangladesh shuts down pro-Islamist TV

Dhaka -

Bangladesh police on Monday raided and closed down a pro-opposition television channel after it aired footage of clashes between Islamists and security forces in central Dhaka, the station said.

An Islamic activist is caught by a policeman during a protest to demand that the government enact an anti-blasphemy law, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: AP

“About 25 plain-clothed policemen and an official of the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission) entered our office and switched us off the air,” Diganta Television's chief reporter M Kamruzzaman told AFP.

“They sealed off our master control room, our production control room and our engineer's room. They told us we can't go on air until further notice,” he added.

The station, which is owned by a leader of Bangladesh's main Islamic party who has been charged with war crimes, was shut down around an hour after police broke up a huge protest by Islamists in a pre-dawn operation.

There was no immediate comment from the police or the BTRC despite repeated attempts to reach them by phone.

The shutdown comes a month after a popular pro-opposition newspaper was closed down and its editor arrested for sedition and inciting religious tension. Police also sealed off the daily's printing presses. - Sapa-AFP

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