20 November 2018, Tue, 1:15

BTRC blocks mobile internet at Khaleda’s Gulshan office, adjacent areas

Mobile internet service has been blocked at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan political office and its adjacent areas, sources at the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) today said.

A high official of BTRC told The Daily Star wishing anonymity that all the mobile phone operators were given instruction to block 3G and 4G services in the area.

BNP Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said they faced difficulties to talk to Tarique Rahman since afternoon.

“Amid network difficulties we completed the interview process for today (Monday),” he said.
The interviews for the day ended at 10:00pm, he added.

BTRC blocks Skype
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has blocked the telecommunications application Skype.com.

Several senior officials of the BTRC told The Daily Star that the telecom regulator blocked the Skype.com last night and its mobile application today.

The step was taken as BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, convicted accused of several cases including August 21 grenade attack, interviewed the nomination aspirants of the party from London through Skype, they said requesting to be unnamed.

The BTRC issued the order to all the international internet gateways, internet service providers, all mobile operators, they added.

A top office barrier of the Internet Service Provider Association of Bangladesh said after getting the order they have complied within a few hours and the country is now out of service of this communication tools.

“However other communication channels and applications are open for video chat and a wider range of video conferencing,” said the leader requesting anonymity.


Skype is a telecommunications application software product that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, and smart watches via the internet and regular telephones. Skype additionally provides instant messaging services.

Earlier in 2015, the government had blocked almost all the communication application as a wholesale basis including Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and other applications immediately after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict maintaining its previous ruling that upheld death penalty of two war criminals.
In August this year ICT and Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said they will consider blocking any social media site like Facebook again and if needed internet could be also shut down to save the state and citizens of the country.

Through video conference, Tarique, who has been staying in London since 2008, on Sunday interviewed 540 nomination seekers from 72 constituencies of 16 districts in the two divisions at the BNP chief's Gulshan office.

Tarique, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in two corruption cases and life imprisonment in the August 21 grenade attack, also interviewed the nomination aspirants today, on the second day of the nomination process of BNP.

The Awami League questioned his inclusion in the BNP nomination board and drew the Election Commission's attention to the issue.

BTRC sets bad instance blocking Skype: BNP

The main political opposition BNP today blasted the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as it reportedly blocked telecommunication application Skype across the country.
“We came to know that BTRC blocked the Skype service. The government regulated-body has set up a bad instance through the blocking,” BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed alleged.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office in Dhaka, Rizvi, also spokesperson of the party, said that all internet-based communication services of the party Chief Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office have already been shut down.

The government came up with the move as Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the commission has "nothing to do" with BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s involvement in the election processes of the party.

He said the government’s move proved that the ruling quarter wants to keep the electoral ground across the country under its absolute control.

“The government is engaged in using all state organs relentlessly to hinder our electoral activities,” the BNP leader blamed.

He also expressed his party’s strong condemnation to the government for blocking all communication mediums at Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office.

Terming such move as an outcome of the narrow minded mentality of the government, he called upon it to immediately restore the Skype service across the country.