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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > Writer hacked to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Writer hacked to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Saturday 28 February 2015, by siawi3


DHAKA, February 27, 2015
Updated: February 28, 2015 08:08 IST

Haroon Habib

PHOTO: A file photo of slain blogger Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Banna. Suspected radical Islamists hacked to death the U.S.-based and seriously injured Ms. Banna in Dhaka on Thursday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Victim was founder of popular blog against Islamist radicals

Suspected radical Islamists hacked to death a popular writer and blogger Avijit Roy and seriously injured his wife Rafida Ahmed Banna, in Dhaka on Thursday.
Roy, a U.S. citizen, is the founder of the popular blog Mukto-Mona (free mind). He had been threatened many times for his sustained campaign against Islamist radicals, said family members and fellow bloggers. He is also well known for his books Biswaser Virus (Virus of Faith) and Sunyo theke Mahabiswa (From Vacuum to the Universe).

Last year,, an online bookstore, was forced to remove Roy’s books from its list following threats by Shafiur Rahman Farabi, a fundamentalist blogger. Mr. Farabi was arrested for posting provocative comments on his Facebook page supporting the killing of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar in Mirpur on February 16, 2013. He was later released on bail.

The couple had come to Dhaka recently to attend the Bangla Academy Book Fair, where two of his recent titles had been launched. They were attacked near the Dhaka University campus on Thursday night when they were returning home from the book fair.
The attackers dragged the couple on to the footpath and hacked them with sharp knifes. Avijit had suffered a deep gash on his head and Ms. Banna, also a writer and blogger, has lost a finger and suffered cut wounds.

The attack on Roy resembles the ones on noted writer Humayun Azad and bloggers Haidar and Asif Mohiuddin. Azad was also returning home from the same book fair when he was hacked with machetes by radical militants a few years ago. Azad later died in Germany while undergoing treatment.
After the Shahbagh agitation, radicals had attacked several other secular bloggers who were demanding capital punishment to those accused of committing war crimes during the 1971 war.

Police said they recovered two bloody machetes and a bag from the spot, and were working to identify the killers.