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8 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 August, 2015 02:40:52 AM

Another blogger killed

The nature of the attack is similar to earlier attacks on bloggers
Habibullah Mizan
Another blogger killed
Relatives try to console Asha Moni, wife of slain blogger Niloy Chakrabarti (inset), at their residence in Goran of the capital yesterday. Photo : Azizur Rahman Sumon

Another progressive blogger was hacked to death in broad daylight by suspected Islamic militants at his rented flat in the capital’s Goran area yesterday. Niladri Chakrabarti, alias Niloy Neel, 40, also a Ganajagaran Mancha activist, is the fourth blogger to be killed in Bangladesh this year, and fifth since February 2013. All the murders have sparked widespread condemnation at home and abroad. Niloy’s wife Asha Moni said four assailants, pretending to be prospective tenants, entered their fourth-floor flat and hacked her husband to death in the drawing room around 1:20pm. Asha and her younger sister Tonni were kept confined in a balcony at that time.
Niloy returned home from the market around noon and sat with his laptop in the bedroom, Asha said.
"Suddenly, a youth entered the flat, saying he wanted to rent it. I told him we are not leaving the place and have not given any notice to the house owner. The youth said the landlord himself had informed him that the flat was for rent,” she added.
“As I went to call my husband, three more youths entered the flat and closed the door from inside," said Asha Moni, also a central committee member of Juba Maitri, the associate youth body of the Workers' Party of Bangladesh.
"One youth took me to the balcony at gunpoint, and later, brought my sister too. The door was then locked from inside. I heard them stabbing my husband, chanting Allahu Akbar (Alllah is Almighty) and left hurriedly. We cried for help from the balcony, but no one came to save him," she added.
Asha Moni also claimed that Niloy received a threat over phone about a month ago.
Police said unidentified assailants killed Niloy at his flat, while their accomplices stood guard outside the building.
Inspector Mustafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Khilgaon police station, said five assailants entered the flat during the Friday prayers on the pretext of renting the flat and killed him.
Shamsuddin Kabir, owner of the house, also a local ruling party leader, said Niloy was working in a non-government organisation, but recently left the job for unknown reason.
Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Joint Commissioner Krishnapada Roy said the blogger had been struck several times with sharp weapons on the throat and neck. The nature of the attack is very similar to those on other bloggers murdered earlier, he added.
Shamim Hossain, claiming to be a witness, said he was in his flat on the fifth floor. Suddenly, he heard ‘‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" from the flat below.  
“Later, I saw three to five young men, who all carried black bags, washing long knives with water from a plastic bucket on the ground floor of the building. Within a few seconds, they left the scene,” Shamim, a butcher by profession, told The Independent.
Describing the alleged killers, he said: "Their ages would be between 20 and 25, and one of them had a beard”.
According to Niloy's Facebook post, he was passing his days under threat. After the killing of Washiqur Rahman, he had joined a protest rally at Shahbagh in the capital. While he was returning home, two youths followed him from Shahbagh and got on the same bus.
After the incident, he went to the police station to file a general diary, but the police refused to register any complaint and instead advised him to go abroad as soon as possible. However, police officers have denied the allegation.
According to Niloy’s Facebook profile, he was also on the hit list of radical Islamist blogger Safiur Rahman Farabi. The victim shared Farabi’s list on his Facebook page on August 3. “My name is also on Farabi's hit list of anti-Islamists. Oh God, protect me” he wrote in his Facebook wall.
Imran H Sarker, Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson, claimed that the victim was an activist of the Mancha. As the news of Niloy’s murder spread, Mancha activists and leaders of left-leaning student groups thronged the Goran residence.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal expressed hope that it would be possible to arrest the killers at the earliest.
“I have talked with the concerned departments and the inspector general of police regarding the killing. We will able to arrest the killers, insha’Allah,” he said.   
Bangladesh Jamat-e-Islami, in a statement, condemned the murder and demanded punishment of the killers.
Meanwhile, Ansar-Al-Islam, the Bangladesh chapter of al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent, has claimed responsibility for Niloy’s murder in an e-mail sent to media houses.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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