ISA arrests: Bangladeshi community in Singapore expresses shock and concern

SINGAPORE - The Bangladeshi community in Singapore is shocked at the news that 27 of the country's nationals who were working here had been radicalised, arrested and all but one deported.

Some said they were embarrassed.

"It is a shameful situation," said Mr Mohsin, the editor of Banglar Kantha, a Bengali newspaper here.

"They are here to work, not engage in political or extremist activities."

Mr Mohsin added that a worker had told him that his friend had gone missing in November last year. Later, they came to know that the missing man had returned to Bangladesh.

The missing man was named on Wednesday (Jan 20) as one of those arrested under the Internal Security Act and deported.

Bangladeshi nationals in the Little India area who spoke to The Straits Times said that they were aware of extremism back home, but were surprised that radicals were in Singapore too.

"Singapore is very safe and secure... and we like it this way. I hope that Singaporeans here will not think all of us are terrorists," said Mr Nurzzaman, 32, a construction worker.

Fourteen of the deported men were jailed in Bangladesh after their return, the Daily Star, a Bangladeshi English daily, reported.

A Dhaka court sent them to jail on Dec 27 last year.

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