Bangladesh teacher arrested after banned book found

Published: Sunday, Jan. 8 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Police have arrested the head teacher at a college in southern Bangladesh after a book considered blasphemous by some Muslims was found in the school's library, an official said Wednesday.

Police officer Abdul Malek said S.M. Yunus Ali was arrested for possessing the novel "Lajja," or "Shame," written by exiled writer Taslima Nasrin.

Malek said Ali, head teacher at the K.C. Technical and Business Management College, could face up to three years in jail if he is found guilty of authorizing the book's inclusion in the library.

The Prothom Alo newspaper said Wednesday that Ali denied having the book and said he was the victim of a conspiracy.

Police corruption and misuse of police investigations by politicians are widespread in Bangladesh.

The novel was banned a year after its publication in 1993 and Nasrin was forced to flee Bangladesh to escape death threats from radical Muslims who considered it blasphemous for advocating secularism.

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