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B’desh security forces arrest three politicians, businessman

BANGLADESH: Security forces arrested a former government minister, two mayors and a top businessman early Tuesday as the military-backed emergency government stepped up its anti-corruption drive, news reports said.

The arrests came a day after army-led forces detained three top aides of former Prime Ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina - who are bitter political rivals.

On Tuesday, former commerce minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury was picked up from his residence in Dhaka’s plush Gulshan district, Bangla Vision television reported. Chowdhury is a former chief of the air force.

Armed forces in the capital also arrested businessman Abdul Awal Minto, a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, the mayor of southern Barisal city, Bangla Vision and ATN Bangla television said. In northeastern Sylhet, city mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran was arrested at a hotel, ATN Bangla said.

On Monday, security forces detained Abdul Jalil, general secretary of Hasina’s Awami League party, and later searched his home, his relative Ishaq Ali said.

Also arrested Monday were Lutfozzaman Babar and M.A. Hashem, two former lawmakers from Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Hasina urged authorities to release Jalil and all other detained members of her party.

“The government seems to be cracking down on politicians instead of fighting real corruption,” Hasina told reporters at her residence late Monday. Dhaka, Tuesday,

AP.

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