Dhaka, Dec. 9: A junior officer of the Bangladesh Army and his two suspected accomplices have been arrested on charges of spying for India, the government said today.
Warrant officer Golam Mostafa was picked up on November 24 from his residence in north-western Rajshahi town. He was posted in the 4 Infantry Regiment of the northern Bogra garrison.
Security officials claimed Mostafa had confessed to spying for the Indian Army for the past two years. He is alleged to have passed on important information on the Bangladesh Army to India.
Based on Mostafa’s information, authorities arrested Mozaffar, a retired lance corporal, and a villager identified as Arif in the frontier district of Chapainawabganj.
Bangladesh Army intelligence has been shadowing Mostafa for several months. He is believed to have kept in touch with an Indian intelligence officer — codenamed GTG — in an army camp in Duishata Bigha in Kalichak police station area in Malda. He allegedly supplied important military documents to his Indian contact on November 13.
The arrests have come amid fresh tensions between the countries after top Indian leaders alleged Bangladesh had become a safe haven for ISI operatives and al Qaida terrorists. Some foreign media reports backed the Indian claim that al Qaida operatives were active in Bangladesh.
India also alleged that rebels from its north-eastern states ran camps in Bangladeshi territory. Dhaka has denied the allegation and claimed that it does not support any terrorist group.
Some pro-government Dhaka newspapers have suggested that RAW could be behind Saturday’s bombings of four cinemas in northern Mymensingh town. Eighteen people were killed and 200 wounded in the blasts.
Home minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury has denied telling a news agency that the blasts could be the work of al Qaida terrorists. He said there was no al Qaida presence in Bangladesh.
Police have arrested dozens of Opposition Awami League leaders for suspected anti-state activities since the explosions. They include former commerce minister Taofail Ahmed and the political secretary of Awami League chief, Saber Hossain Chowdhury. Writers Muntasir Mamun and Shahriar Kabir, who are critics of the government, have also been arrested.
Bangladesh today observed a day of mourning as relatives buried 17 people killed in the blasts.
“We are mourning, this is a black flag day. Our hearts bleed as we take the bodies for burial,” said Rusmat Ali, a small trader in Mymensingh.
The police said about 60 people were in hospital, with several critical. Doctors said the toll was expected to rise.