This Article is From May 13, 2015

Third Blogger Ananta Bijoy Das Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

Bangladesh forensics police investigate the site where blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death, in Sylhet on May 12, 2015. (AFP)


A blogger was hacked to death in Bangladesh on Tuesday, the third blogger to be killed in that country in less than three months.

32-year-old Ananta Bijoy Das was fatally stabbed by four masked men near his home in the northern town of Sylhet while he was on his way to work.

Das was a regular contributor to the popular blog Muktomona or Free Mind, started by Avijit Roy, the US-based Bangladeshi blogger who was hacked to death in Dhaka on February 26.

Das, a banker by profession, was also an activist of Ganajagoran Mancha which spearheaded the Shahbag movement in 2013.

On March 30 another blogger Oyashiqur Rahman was also killed in Dhaka.

Ansar Bangla 8, a shadowy group that had earlier claimed a hand in the Avijit Roy murder, today sent out several tweets lauding the Al Queda in Indian Subcontinent or AQIS for Das's death.

In fact, in a tweet specifically addressed to journalists, Ansar Bangla 8 said, "For Journalists: Use#AQIS [Al-Qaeda in Indian the Sub-Continent] while reporting about the killing..Don't use Ansar Bangla 8 again."

On May 4, the AQIS claimed responsibility for Avijit Roy's murder and the death of two other bloggers in Bangladesh earlier.

Its chief, reportedly Indian born Asim Umar, said in that statement that AQIS has a list of 84 so called "blasphemers" on its hit list in the Indian subcontinent.

Ananta Bijoy Das, it seems, was on their hit list.

Some reports suggest Das knew that. According to the International Humanist and Ethical Union or IHEU, a global umbrella organisation of free thinkers headquartered in London, Das had written to them in March saying, "It seems to me I am one of the targets. I am not sure how long I will hide myself. But I am sure if they will find me they will do what they did with Mr. Avijit Roy. My life is seriously unsecured. I am not sure how can I protect myself and my family."

IHEU also says,"We have been informed that his application for a visa to travel to Sweden, under invitation from Swedish PEN, was rejected last week by the Swedish embassy in Dhaka, on the basis that he might seek to remain in Sweden."

The Gonojagoran Manch has called for a half-day strike in Sylhet on Wednesday.