Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday criticised Bangladeshi TV channels over live telecast of the government’s preparations during the country’s worst hostage crisis and threatened to revoke their licenses.
“When we are taking preparations, channels were telecasting those live. Do they not think that the terrorists are watching this and devising their strategies accordingly? I request the television channel owners to please not do this,” Hasina said while announcing the success of the operations carried out at Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan.
She criticised the television channels’ role during conducting operations.
“In the United States, when people were killed, neither CNN nor BBC showed anything to jeopardise the operation. But in our country, there is competition between the television channels. Some television channels do not want to listen.
“I can issue the licence and I can revoke it as well. This is not a childish game,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.
Hasina asked the television owners to telecast the bad side of militancy, “It is the responsibility of all”.
“People have to be resistant against this. We can not let this impede the development taking place in Bangladesh,” Hasina said as she asked people to resist militancy.
20 foreigners, including an Indian girl, were hacked to death by suspected ISIS militants inside a cafe popular with expats in the diplomatic zone here in the worst terror attack in Bangladesh before commandos launched an assault, killing six attackers and capturing one alive.
Director of Military Operations Brigadier General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury said the militants slaughtered 20 hostages before the joint operation led by the armed forces began.
Most of those killed were found with their throat slit, he added. Indian girl Tarushi, 18, who was taken hostage was killed by the attackers. Italian and Japanese nationals were among 19 others who were brutally murdered. Two senior police officers were also killed in the gunbattle that began last night.
The mission codenamed ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ was launched after the Prime Minister ordered the army to intervene to end the hostage crisis, Chowdhury said.
Hasina announced the end of siege and said security forces “successfully” wrapped up their operation, freeing 13 hostages after killing six terrorists and capturing one militant at the Spanish cafe. She said around 30 people were injured.
Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, nearly four hours after the hostage crisis unfolded, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activity online.