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Be alert, says Hasina after tip-off on threat to her life

world Updated: Mar 30, 2010 13:04 IST

IANS
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered security agencies to be on high alert after a tip-off by Indian and other foreign intelligence agencies on a possible threat to her life and to sensitive installations in the country.

She told her colleagues at the cabinet meeting Monday evening that besides a possible attack on her, government buildings, radio and television centres as well as power, gas and water supply plants could also face sabotage.

"I have information that war criminals might try to carry out attacks on me, or carry out other subversive acts to foil the trial. But I am not scared, since only the Almighty Allah preserves the right to give or take a life," Hasina was quoted as saying by a cabinet member after the meeting.

The warning from foreign agencies came after the government ordered "war crimes" trial for those alleged to have killed unarmed civilians in the run-up to the 1971 freedom movement, The Daily Star newspaper said Tuesday.

"...Intelligence agencies of some foreign countries, including neighbouring India, had warned Bangladesh about possible subversive acts to foil the trial initiative.

"The agencies also warned the prime minister about possible attempts on her life," the newspaper said.

There have been several attempts on Hasina's life. Her father, former president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and most of her family members were killed in a military-led putsch in August 1975.

Different intelligence agencies and Dhaka Metropolitan Police are gearing up to thwart possible subversive acts ahead of the trial.

Top leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), the country's largest Islamist party, are among those accused of participating in the 1971 killings. Mohammed Ali Mojahid, the JeI secretary general, warned of "explosive situation" if the trial was carried out.

The government last Thursday constituted a three-judge tribunal.