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Slain Bangladesh blogger’s publisher hacked to death

Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque, the father of Faisal Arefin Dipan, is surrounded by the media in Dhaka on Saturday.  

A Bangladeshi publisher, who worked with >slain atheist writer and blogger Avijit Roy, was on Saturday hacked to death by unidentified assailants here.

Faisal Arefin Dipan (43) was killed in his third-floor office in central Dhaka locality of Shabagh, very near the venue of months of demonstrations demanding capital punishment for Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and other fundamentalists who had collaborated with Pakistani troops during Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971.

Wounds on the shoulder

“Dipan died of stab wounds on the shoulder,” Muntasirul Islam, spokesperson of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said.

Bangladesh police headquarters spokesman Nazrul Islam told PTI that Dipan was slaughtered and he died instantly.

Dipan’s father Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq, himself a noted intellectual and writer, said “I saw him [Dipan] lying upside down in a pool of blood. He is dead.”

He said those who opposed free speech were behind his son’s murder. Witnesses said sound of firing was also heard from the supermarket.

The killing of Dipan came just hours after unidentified assailants attacked two secular writers and another publisher of US national Roy’s books, leaving one of them in a critical condition, according to police.

Common pattern: locking them up

There was a common pattern in the both the attacks on Saturday with the perpetrators locking the victims inside their offices before carrying out the crimes.

Roy was hacked to death near a book fair here on February 26 this year, the first in a series of attacks this year that have targeted atheist and secular bloggers in Bangladesh, leaving five dead.

Dipan owns Jagritee Prakasany (Publishers) whose office is located at Aziz Supermarket.

The attack came on a day when two writers and a publisher were stabbed and shot on Saturday at a publishing house in Bangladesh’s capital, police said.

Rise of radical Islam

The attack in Dhaka comes amid fears about the rise of radical Islam in Bangladesh. At least four atheist bloggers have been murdered in the impoverished country this year.

Three men entered the office of the publishing house, Shudhdhoswar, and attacked the writers and the publisher, said police officer Abdullah al-Mamun.

Local police chief Jamal Uddin Meer said the assailants then locked the wounded men inside the office before escaping. “We had to break the lock to recover them,” Meer said.

The publisher, Ahmed Rahim Tutul, was a close friend of Bangladeshi-American blogger and writer Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death on the Dhaka University campus while walking with his wife in February. Mr. Tutul was also the publisher of Roy’s books.

The two writers who were attacked on Saturday were identified by police as Ranadeep Basu and Tareque Rahim.

Publisher critical

All three were hospitalised, and Tutul was in critical condition, Meer said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The local Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team had claimed the blogger killings.

Earlier this month, a bombing targeted Bangladesh's Shiite Muslims. An Italian aid worker and a Japanese agricultural worker were also killed in separate attacks. The Islamic State group claimed all three of those attacks, but Bangladesh's government rejected that the extremist Sunni militant group had any presence in the country.

The government has instead blamed domestic Islamist militants along with Islamist political parties specifically the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its main ally, Jamaat-e-Islami for orchestrating the violence to destabilise the already fractious nation.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 7:56:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/2-writers-publisher-stabbed-in-dhaka-attack/article7827219.ece

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