A senior university teacher in the Bangladesh’s northern Rajshahi city has been murdered by unidentified assailants on Saturday.
AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee (58), a professor of English department of Rajshahi University, was killed by miscreants in the city when he was waiting for university bus at 7:40am. Several persons swooped on Prof. Siddiquee from behind with sharp weapons, leaving him dead on the spot.
Killers yet to be identified
The law enforcers have yet to identify the killers nor could they ascertain the motive of the murder. They said motorcycle-borne assailants slashed his neck and killed him on the spot.
However, the investigators did not rule out a militant attack on the professor who was known for his liberal ideology. In 2014, suspected Islamist militants hacked another Rajshahi University professor, AKM Shafiul Islam, to death in the same city. Two other professors of liberal ideology — M. Younus and S. Taher— had been killed a few years ago.
Work of a militant outfit?
“We are checking whether any militant outfit is involved in the killing,” said the police adding, they have found similarities between this murder and the killing of blogger and secular activists in the past.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shamsuddin told journalist that the manner of murder – the use of sharp weapons – was similar to the case of blogger killings.
IS claims killing?
U.S.-based private SITE Intelligence Group said the Islamic State (IS) has claimed the killing.
“IS’ Amaq Agency reported the group’s responsibility for killing Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh,” it said in a tweet.
The professor’s neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 per cent slit, Mr. Shamsuddin said, adding that the nature of the attack shows it was carried out by extremist groups.
An investigation into the killing is on.
Students, teachers want culprits nabbed
Meanwhile, angry students and teachers of the university rallied in the campus demanding immediate arrest of culprits.
The professor’s colleagues said he was involved in cultural activities in the campus and used to play flute and sitar.
“He was not known for affiliation for any political party... He had a progressive outlook that might have earned him the wrath of reactionary [Islamist] forces,” professor of mass communication department of the university Dulal Chandra Biswas told PTI over phone.
Prof. Biswas said he believed the Islamists murdered Prof. Siddiquee to prove their existence in view of a massive anti-militant security clampdown in the region