Bangladesh police have raided the office of a news website and detained three journalists for allegedly spreading rumours about the death of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son in a plane crash, days after the government shut down over 30 online portals in a crackdown on media.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel raided the office of banglamail24.Com last night and detained its editor Shahadat Ulla Khan, executive editor Maksudul Alam, and reporter Pranta Palash. They also seized a computer from the office.
"We have detained the three to be questioned on allegations of spreading rumours...We are yet to decide if they will be freed or arrested," an RAB official told newsmen.
According to journalists of the online newspaper, the website ran a story published by an obscure news portal called Todaynews71 claiming that the Premier's son was killed in a plane crash along with its own comments criticising the "baseless report".
They said the RAB men raided their office after they ignored a request by the Premier's office to retract the story from the site, which hasn't been updated since their detention.
The raid came days after Sheikh Hasina government blocked over 32 news websites, including some pro-opposition news portals, for carrying "objectionable contents".
The government also banned live television coverage of terror attacks following the last month's deadly assault on a cafe here in which 22 people were killed.