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Police yet to get any major lead months after blogger killings

32Police are yet to find any major lead in the murders of three bloggers in Dhaka, even after two people were arrested for their suspected involvement in one of the killings.

Law enforcers claim that it is taking time to identify the perpetrators as they carried out the crimes in “cut out” manner.

US citizen and writer-blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death on the campus of Dhaka University on Feb 26.

Roy, a bioengineer by profession, had been threatened on social media for his secular writings.

His wife Rafida Islam Bonya, who was with him at the time of the attack, though survived, lost a thumb.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch (DB) is investigating the case. No arrest has been made over the killing.

But police arrested one Farabi Shafiur Rahman, who had threatened Roy in social media for his writings.

“Police suspect members of banned outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team is involved in the killing. The assailants operated in a ‘cut out’ manner. In this type of operation, the assailants who take part in the killings do not know each other’s identities,” said Sub-inspector Fazlur Rahman, the investigating officer in Roy’s murder case.

He said that they were hopeful police would be able to nab the killers sooner or later.

About a month after Roy’s murder, online activist Oyasiqur Rahman Babu was killed in broad daylight near his house in the capital’s Tejgaon when he was on his way to work on Mar 30.

Babu used to write against religious fundamentalism on Facebook and was vocal on the social media protesting Roy’s murder.

Witnesses said three men attacked the 27-year-old, who worked with a travel agency, and hacked him with meat cleavers.

Locals nabbed two of the assailants—‘Zikrullah’ and ‘Ariful’— from the scene and handed them over to the police.
Police say they are almost certain that Ansarullah Bangla Team was behind Babu’s murder.

“Locals handed over two of the assailants and later police arrested one Abu Taher over the killing. Now we are looking for one of the masterminds ‘Masum’,” Detective Branch Additional Deputy Commissioner Saifur Rahman told bdnews24.com.

Ahmed Rajib Haider, another blogger, was killed in an identical manner in 2013.

Ansarullah Bangla Team chief Jasimuddin Rahmani and seven students of the North South University (NSU) are being tried for their suspected role in that murder.

Charges were pressed against the eight on Mar 18 this year.

Haider, a blogger and an architect by profession, was hacked to death on Feb 15, 2013 near his house in Dhaka’s Mirpur.

The seven NSU students are Faisal Bin Nayeem alias Deep, Maksudul Hassan Anik, Ehsan Reza Rumman, Nayeem Sikder Irad, Nafis Imtiaz, Sadman Yasir Mahmud and Redwanul Azad Rana.

Rana, a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir, is on the run.

Police, however, seems to be confident about arresting the killers of bloggers.

“The assailants can’t escape from police, whatever strategy they may adopt. Police are serious about cracking the cases of the bloggers’ murders,” Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) spokesperson Monirul Islam told bdnews24.com.

The perpetrators will be arrested “very soon”, said DMP Joint Commissioner Islam.