Two more members of an Al-Qaeda linked Islamist militant group in Bangladesh have been arrested in connection with the killing of a secular blogger who was brutally hacked to death here in the fourth such deadly attack this year in the country that sparked global outrage.
Kausar Hossain Khan and Kamal Hossain Sardar, members of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) militant group were arrested in raids in the capital city late last night and are suspected to be involved in the killing of 29-year-old blogger Niloy Chakrabarty Neel on August 7, police said on Friday.
The arrests were made after the interrogations of another two suspects — Saad Al Nahin and Masud Rana — who were held two weeks ago.
“We arrested the two — Kausar Hossain Khan and Kamal Hossain Sardar — from two areas of Dhaka city after two previously detained suspects gave us the clue about them during their interrogation,” a spokesman of the police’s detective branch told PTI.
He said that Khan and Sardar, who are in their late 20s, were arrested earlier also when they were named in police charge sheet for alleged attempts to murder another blogger two years ago but were freed on bail as investigations were underway.
“We will produce them to Dhaka metropolitan magistrate court seeking them to be remanded in our custody for 10 days for interrogation,” the officer said.
Suspected operatives of the banned Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), an extremist grouping which claims to be affiliated to Al-Qaeda’s Indian sub-continent chapter, are believed to have hacked to death blogger Neel, popularly known by his pen name Niloy Neel.
Neel was killed by five assailants inside his fifth-floor flat at North Gorhan where he lived with his family. The assailants entered the flat after Friday prayers, pushed his wife and one of his friends aside and then hacked him to death.
The new arrests were made after a Dhaka court placed the two other previously detained suspected murderers on a two-day police remand afresh for more interrogation while they were earlier quizzed in custody for eight days.
Neel, who was an official of NGO Ganajagaran Mancha, was known for his secular write ups in blogs. The NGO waged a massive campaign for the capital punishment for war criminals who carried out atrocities siding with the Pakistani troops in 1971.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court on Thursday placed three ABT members, including a Bangladesh-origin British national, on a three-day fresh remand for questioning in connection with the murder of another blogger and writer Avijit Roy who was killed in February.