DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested two men for social media posts deemed critical of a new bridge that had been trumpeted by the government as one of its greatest achievements.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge was inaugurated on the weekend in a ceremony attended by almost a million people, after a long construction plagued by delays and corruption allegations.
Its opening caps a key infrastructure goal by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and her government’s fanfare over the project has been matched by a hardline response to any criticism.
Police confirmed the arrest of Abul Kalam Azad, a former low-level official of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), without clarifying the nature of the 42-year-old’s online remarks.
His arrest came on the same day police detained a TikTok user who allegedly posted a short video showing that bolts used to fasten the bridge together could be easily unscrewed.
Bayazid Talha was taken into custody in Dhaka on Monday after his post went viral.
A senior police officer told reporters that Talha had made the video to “smear” the reputation of both the bridge and the government.
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022