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Activists slam Hasina following blogger’s murder

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Continuing attacks blamed on government’s failure to take action

The hacking of another blogger-activist to death in Bangladesh has set off a storm of criticism against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, with noted author Taslima Nasreen saying people had “given up any expectation” that she would act against the killers.

Thirty three-year-old Ananta Bijoya Das was attacked by masked militants wielding machetes when he was on his way to work in Sylhet on Tuesday. Mr. Das’ killing by a suspected Islamist militant group is the third murder of a blogger in the past three months.

On February 26, American-Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonya, were attacked while on March 30, blogger Washiqur Rehman was killed in Dhaka.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, Ms. Nasreen said the “killings prove that the Hasina government isn’t taking action against the groups that are targeting them because of votes. The government thinks if it arrests them they will be considered anti-Islam.”

While much of Mr. Das’ work was on scientific theories of evolution, he had also written a poem eulogising Ms. Nasreen recently, in which he had praised her for “not compromising on feminist principles” despite death threats issued against her over two decades.

Activists protest

Protesting the murder, activists of Shahbagh Gonojagoron Mancha, the group Mr. Das headed, took out a procession and held a rally at Dhaka’s Shahbagh. They also condemned the repeated killings of the bloggers and free thinkers and blamed the murder on the government’s failure to arrest attackers and hold trials.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 2:20:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bangladesh-blogger-death-hasina-condemned/article7198509.ece

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