Bangladeshi blogger named on hitlist

Bangladeshi blogger named on hitlist
February 18 20:57 2017 Print This Article

It is with good reason that the “blogger murders” are the most fervently debated and discussed topics in Bangladesh today and who knows, perhaps maybe even in the world. These individuals one by one, are being exterminated with extreme prejudice and continue to be targeted this way due to their difference of opinions when it came to religious beliefs in general. These events as such, have done little to ease the still lingering doubts over the country’s dubious law and order system.

A prominent face in the Shahbag movement, the murder of blogger Rajib Haider aka “Thaba Baba” on the 15th of February, initiated this horrific and gory blogger killing spree. The most disturbing one in the bunch though was the murder of Dr. Avijit Roy’s. In close vicinity of the “21st February Book Fair”, Dr Ray was hacked to death by machetes in the open, while his wife was severely injured and barely survived the trauma by the skin of her teeth.

With the nation still recovering from the loss of Dr. Avijit Roy, the blogger killers struck again. This time carried out the execution of blogger Washiqur Rahman Babu in a similar manner to Dr. Roy’s. The men murdered him in front of his own house, but were caught and arrested later on the spot. Not a week after that had passed and when blogger Ananta Bijoy Das too was hacked to death in the same gruesome way in front of his house. Blogger Niladri Chottopaddhay was next to fall prey to Islami extremists. He was imprisoned and murdered in his own house as well.

With the country still reeling from these shocking events, the extremist dealt it yet another dull blow to the chest in the form of Faisal Arefin Dipon. Mr Dipon was Dr Roy’s publisher and he has slaughtered mercilessly in his office on the 31st of October 2015. On the same day, as if in almost perfect sync, publisher Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul, poet Tarek Rahim and writer and blogger Ranodipam Basu were also butchered by machetes. A blogger himself Mr. Rashid Tutul who luckily survived the onslaught was also an employee of “Shuddhosor Prokashoni” while the latter, where prolific performers in the blogger community.

And the list goes on. A rich vein of talent lost into the hands of preying evil which stormed and consumed these free thinking and enlightened spirits. Indeed there are already arguments that these murders might be the most significant and yet pernicious set of events Bangladesh’s history, since its independence.

The more intriguing aspect of these murders though is the manner in which they are being conducted. The perpetrators who have long since accepted responsibility for these heinous deeds are a group of individuals who have dubbed themselves the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). They are committing these crimes openly utilizing the internet and even the national media at times, sending threatening letters to news agencies. According to sources from The Daily Prothom Alo and BD News, the now banned Ansarullah Bangla team (ABT) have compiled a fifteen man hit list featuring some of the most prominent names amongst Bangladesh’s intellectual community. The list targets several bloggers, writers a few of whom reside outside the country.

The list features amongst other known figures Dhaka Based blogger Imran H sarker ( The spokesman of Shahbag Movement), Omi Rahman Pial, London based blogger Nijhoom Majumder, Nazmul Hossain A.K.A Ghatok, Ajanta Deb Roy, Roosevelt Halder, Arifur Rahman, Md Siddikur Rahman, Abdul Ahad Shanto, Tofail Hossain, Syed Sunvy Anick Hossain, Syed Isteak Hossain Shawon, Syed Mohammad Sajeeb Abed,Adnan Saqib, Abu Hanif, Yeaz kawasr, Naymul Islam, Rasel Parvez, Tamzid Hussain, Germany Based blogger Shubhroto Shuvo, Omor Faruk Lukes, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Taslima Nasrin, Daud Haider, Shammi Haque and ICTBD prosecutor Tureen Afroz just to name a few.

In a discussion regarding these upsetting events, blogger Ami Rahman revealed that he is no stranger to these death threats and that he has been a constant recipient of these from the very beginning. The Bangladesh government have assigned a professional gunman for his safety and the police continuously monitor his movements.

We got in touch with Mr Benzir Ahmed next, director in general of Bangladesh Police and asked him to provide his feedback on the murders and the progress of the police have made thus far in that regard. Mr Ahmed in turn has assured us that the police was, has been and will do everything in its power to put an end to this massacre. When riddled by our representative on site, on whether or not there is a presence of ISIS here inside Bangladesh’s borders, Mr Ahmed declined to comment.

All in all BOAN (Bangladesh Blogger’s Association) strongly believes that Bangladesh, in terms of overall situational stability is in a haplessly precarious position indeed. We urge the Bangladesh government to tread carefully in these delicate times. We also strongly request them to move swiftly and decisively in order to quash this alarming rise in blogger killings and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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