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Bangladesh smartphone keyboard touches off political controversy

'No wrongdoing,' telecom minister says of order to use his company's software

A smartphone display shows the Bangla-language Bijoy keyboard -- the product at the center of a political controversy. (Photo by Mahmud Hossain Opu)

DHAKA -- Bangladesh's telecom regulator has made it mandatory to install a particular Bangla-language keyboard in all Android smartphones sold in the country -- a controversial move given that the company that produces the keyboard is owned by the incumbent telecom minister.

The keyboard software in question is called Bijoy, which means "victory." It is made by Ananda Computers, a company formed over three decades ago and owned by Minister of Post and Telecommunications Mustafa Jabbar.

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