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Bangladesh: Former student leader in police custody for plotting coup
Wednesday February 25, 2015 9:30 PM, IANS

A former student leader in Bangladesh, accused of plotting a possible coup in the country, was Wednesday remanded to 10 days in police custody by a court here, media reported.

The verdict against the accused, Mahmudur Rahman Mann, convenor of Nagorik Oikya, was pronounced by a metropolitan magistrate, reported.

According to a leaked audio clip, Manna, in a phone conversation with an unidentified person, seemed to suggest the need to influence senior military generals to take over power and end the current political crisis.

Another leaked audio clip recorded his conversation with opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka, in which he said that "a few deaths" during clashes in the Dhaka University could destabilise the government.

He was picked up by the Rapid Action Battalion early Tuesday and handed over to the police.

A case was filed against Manna with the police Tuesday under Section 131 of Bangladesh's penal code, which prescribes imprisonment for life or for a term of 10 years for inciting a mutiny by the military.

Bangladesh has been gripped by political violence since January this year and the opposition BNP and its allies -- who boycotted the general elections held Jan 5 last year -- have enforced a non-stop nationwide blockade since Jan 5 this year, demanding fresh parliamentary polls under a non-party caretaker government system.

More than 100 people have been killed so far in the ensuing political violence and most of them have been killed during firebomb attacks on public vehicles. The numerous strikes have crippled normal life in the country.

Bangladesh's opposition alliance Tuesday extended its ongoing 72-hour nationwide strike till Friday morning in protest against what it said were the killings of opposition activists.

A court in Bangladesh Wednesday issued arrest warrants against ex-prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia and two others in two cases filed by the country's anti-graft body.

Earlier this month, Zia was charged with instigating bomb attacks on a procession led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan in Dhaka, in which at least 11 people were injured.

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