4th Secular Blogger Killed In Bangladesh In 6 Months

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4th Secular Blogger Killed In Bangladesh In 6 Months

File Photo: Bangladeshi secular activists take part in a torch-lit protest against the killing of US blogger of Bangladeshi origin Avijit Roy in February this year. (Agence France-Presse photo)

Dhaka:  Niloy Neel, 40, was slaughtered inside his home in Dhaka this afternoon, making him the fourth secular blogger to be killed in Bangladesh since February.

An unknown man knocked on Mr Neel's fourth-floor residence around 1:20 pm and said he wanted to take the flat for rent. When Mr Neel said it was unavailable, the man made a phone call and within moments, two men rushed in, armed with machetes and a gun.

Mr Neel's wife and sister were locked in the verandah at gunpoint, the blogger dragged to another room and his throat slit. Most of his wounds were around the neck and head, a senior police officer said.

The wife and sister shouted for help from the verandah but got no help. The police arrived within 15 minutes of the incident, he said, but the killers had fled.

Ansarullah Al Islam, which describes itself as the Bangladesh chapter of Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for Mr Neel's death, according to Daily Star, a Dhaka newspaper.

Niloy Neel was associated with Gonojagoran Manch, the organisation behind the powerful Shahbag movement against Islamic Jihadists. The organisation's head, Imran H Sarkar, said, "Now we are not even safe in our homes. Niloy had been receiving threat calls and had gone to the police to file a complaint. He had told me the police said, 'just go away abroad'."

Mr Neel is the fourth blogger to be killed in Bangladesh this year. Abhijit Roy, a well-known blogger and an American citizen, had been hacked to death near Dhaka University in February. A few days later, another blogger Owashiqur Rehman was murdered and, in May, Ananta Bijoy Das was killed in Sylhet.

Activists say the government is not doing enough to ensure safety for bloggers even though the jihadist group Ansarullah Bangla had circulated a list of 80 bloggers on their hit list.

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