Coup plot against Hasina govt foiled

The Bangladesh Army has foiled a coup plot by certain “religiously fanatic” Islamist officers, serving and retired, to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s government. Two retired officers have been arrested while a serving officer, a major, is absconding.

The “heinous conspiracy” was unearthed last month and two retired officers — Lt. Col. Ehsan Yousuf and Major Zakir — were arrested. A serving officer, Major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Huq, a co-planner, is absconding.
“A band of fanatic officers was trying to oust the government. Their attempt was foiled,” Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammad Masud Razzak said at a crowded press conference on Thursday.
He said 14 to 16 officers were being watched as investigations were underway on their suspected role. The two arrested ex-officers had “bluntly admitted their role in the plot”, he said, but declined to say when the arrests were made.
He said the plot was fomented by Bangladeshi expatriates who were in touch with “religiously fanatic Army officers”.
Gen. Razzak said the absconding officer, Maj. Huq, in an effort to carry out the conspiracy, had sent emails to different serving officers to execute his operation plans on January 9 and 10. Most of these officers were of “middle level”, he said, adding that “some unruly and derailed” officers were “actively engaged” in the conspiracy and kept contact with Maj. Huq via mobiles and the Internet.
Investigations found some Bangladeshi expats involved while the fugitive major had links to a banned Islamist group, Hizbut Tahrir, he said.
Bangladesh has a long history of coups. It was under military rule for over a decade since August 15, 1975 when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Sheikh Hasina’s father) was assassinated with most of his family members. — PTI

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