Prof Anu Muhammad, member secretary of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, has received death threat on his mobile phone.
One of the pioneer leaders of the “Save the Sundarbans” movement, Prof Anu received the death threat from 01629967551 around 1 am on Thursday. The text message reads: “Death keeps no calendar, and Ansatullah [sic] knows no time!"
Prof Anu Muhammad posted on Facebook that he received another threatening SMS from the same number. He received the message when he was filing a GD with the police on Thursday night. The latest text message read (in verbatim): “Say 'yes' to Rampal, otherwise you must will be hacked to death incredibly by us!”
It might be that the sender wanted to mean Ansarullah, a banned militant outfit responsible for the murder of a dozen secular activists, bloggers and publishers, but wrote Ansatullah.
Since last year, more than 50 eminent personalities have been sent death threats under the name of Ansarullah at different times.
Confirming the message to the Dhaka Tribune, Prof Anu, who teaches economics at Jahangirnagar University, said he would file a general diary soon.
Asked whether he suspects anyone behind such the threat, he answered: “I do not know. It can be anyone.”
Prof Anu recently came under fire of the ruling party leaders and activists for campaigning against the 1320MW coal-based power plant at Rampal, near the Sundarbans mangrove forest, though the government claims that the project would not harm the Unesco World Heritage site.
Recently, the Unesco too raised objection against the project, and urged the government to relocate it to somewhere else.
Asked whether he sees any link between the threats from the ruling party and the latest threat, Prof Anu said: “There is one link. Both the groups are trying to spread panic in the society. Anyone, any group who is criticising the ruling party’s steps, are facing threats … anybody against extremism is also facing threats.”
According to media reports, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu in his Facebook post said that the anti-Rampal activists were linked to Jamaat-e-Islami, the infamous anti-liberation party.
On the other hand, ruling Awami League’s Publicity Secretary Hasan Mahmud, also a former environment minister, has warned that patriots might break the legs of the Save the Sundarbans activists if they go to the project area.
Earlier, the prime minister criticised the activists for taking stance against the India-Bangladesh joint venture project, and termed them anti-development.