Police investigate 'terror attack' on Bangladesh Minister
PUBLISHED: 12:08 18 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:09 18 September 2013
Police are investigating an assault on a Bangladeshi government minister at the studio of a Bengali news channel in East London in what officials are calling a "terror attack".
Hasanul Haq Inu, Minister of Information in Bangladesh, was set upon by a group of men on September 9 as he prepared to go on the Mukto Shonglap (Open Dialogue) talk show.
Police were called to the studio of ATN Bangla UK in Epsom Street, Bromley-by-Bow, at 10.30pm and are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.
The attack was condemned by the Bangladesh High Commissioner in London, who has discussed it with Permanent Under Secretary Simon Fraser at the Foreign Office.
A spokesman for the commission said: “The forceful entry into ATN Bangla UK office and the violent attack on the minister clearly constitute a terror attack, and must be treated as such.”
The group of five or six men who attacked Mr Inu fled after officials from the High Commission, who were with the minister and his wife, intervened.
Mr Inu, who was in London for the first ever UK-Bangladesh e-commerce fair, was not in injured and went ahead with the programme.
Witnesses believe that the attack was pre-planned to stop the minister, who is an outspoken public figure, from going on the political talk show.
Bulbul Hasan, head of news and TV host at ATN Bangla UK, said: “The ATN Bangla UK is condemning this cowardly act as the management strongly believe that this is not only an attack on a politician or minister, rather it should be considered as an attack on freedom of expression.”
Mr Inu is leader of Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, a Bangladeshi socialist party, and fought in the country’s liberation war in 1971.
He said: “It was a terrorist attack and I think it was a political attack.
“I hope the police will take notice and take serious action against the terrorists.”