Detective Branch of Police late on Monday night arrested three ‘bloggers’ from the capital’s Indira Road, Palashi and Monipuri Parha areas. One desktop computer, one laptop, two internet modems and an external hard disk were also seized from them.
Meanwhile, Amarblog authorities have closed down their blog site after the arrest of the three bloggers.
An announcement on blog site’s home page said the site will resume only after the bloggers were released unconditionally.
Amarblog’s home page showed a black screen with an announcement in white on Tuesday, roughly translated in English, saying, “Nasty politics have begun with the bloggers. They are being arrested for wrong reasons. Amarblog has been closed for readers in Bangladesh without mentioning a word. We are shocked to see the activities by dormant fundamentalist militants inside the government. We have lost words of protest.”
Amarblog will be closed until the bloggers are unconditionally released, the announcement said.
“There is no need to blog, no need for Amarblog … goodbye.”
BTRC had sent a letter to Amarblog on Mar 22 requesting information.
The letter accused the site for alleged writings against the state and religion, seeking IOP and email address of online bloggers. They also demanded that all blog accounts by certain bloggers be removed before Mar 21.
The blog responded in a notice saying that it will not deactivate accounts and provide personal information of the bloggers.
BTRC have said they have the legal jurisdiction for punishment if the the information it needs is not provided.
Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response Team (BD-CSIRT) formed by BTRC to stop cyber crime, closed 12 blogs and Facebook pages for reportedly spreading religiously charged statements.
The blog Sonar Bangla is among the sites that were shut by authorities. Protesters in Shahbagh had accused it of being administered by supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir.
The government on Mar 13 had formed a committee to identify and take actions against those who make offensive statements against Islam and its Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). The committee also opened an email account to receive allegations over such offensive statements.
According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), there are at least 30 million internet users and 3.2 million Facebook users in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, a human chain in Dhaka University was formed at noon on Tuesday by the university’s teachers and students in protest against the arrest of three bloggers for allegedly offending religion.
The human chain was organised in front of the famous sculpture ‘Aparajeyo Bangla’ in front of the Arts Building at Dhaka University.
The protesters were demanding the immediate release of the bloggers.