Dhaka: In a sudden, but unexplained move, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission or BTRC has ordered the shutdown of both English and Bangla websites of bdnews24.com.
BTRC officials emailed two separate notices to mobile phone and IIG operators with an instruction to block the websites immediately on Monday.
“As decided by the Commission, you are directed to block the following Domains at your IIG immediately:
https://m.bdnews24.com/,” the regulator said in the first notice.
The order was sent by the BTRC’s Systems & Services Division Senior Assistant Director Touseef Shahriar.
Hours later, BTRC Assistant Director for Systems and Services Md Mahfuzul Alam sent another notice to the telecom operators, ordering the shutdown of bdnews24.com’s Bangla website: bangla.bdnews24.com.
No reason was provided for the order in the notices.
The government has not issued a statement either.
But the BTRC’s acting Chairman Jahurul Haque told bdnews24.com that the commission issued the notices as ordered by “government high-ups”.
Haque, however, declined to explain the reason for the shutdown “order”.
bdnews24.com is the largest news publisher of the country by reach and volume with 10 million unique visitors and 100 million page views a month. Its Facebook page has 8.7 million followers.