The police were yet to arrest anyone for the killing of blogger Ananta Bijoy Dash in Sylhet till Wednesday evening.
The investigators claimed that they were using best efforts to arrest the four attackers and their mastermind but no significant progress was made.
They claimed that Ananta, 33, was killed because of his writing.
Demonstrators continued protests demanding immediate arrest of the killers. Sylhet unit of Ganajagaran Mancha enforced a half-day general strike in the city protesting against the murder.
Four youth in two motorcycles hacked Ananta, mainly in the head, chasing him for about 100 metres when he left his home at Subidbazar in Sylhet for his office, witnesses said.
Ananta was an editor of quarterly magazine Jukti (Logic) and headed the Sylhet-based Science and Rationalist Council.
Ananta’s elder brother Ratneswar Dash, a private bank official at Bianibazar in the district, filed a case with
Biman Bandar police station on Tuesday night against four unnamed people.
Ananta’s elder sister Panchatapa Dash, however, said that a number of unknown youths had been keeping an eye on Ananta.
She said that three boys had went their house to talk to Ananta, when he was out of the house, claiming that he had borrowed money from them.
‘They did not give satisfactory answer when asked on which purpose they lent Ananta,’ Panchatapa said.
On another day, several youths went to rent a house in their building, although there was no notice for leasing out any flat in the building, she said.
Sylhet Metropolitan Police additional deputy commissioner Rahmat Ullah said that they were also examining whether there was any link between the murder and the last writing of Ananta he posted on his blog barely a hour before the murder that was critical of a local lawmaker for making derogative comment about a university professor.
He, however, said, ‘No such link was yet found and the lawmaker might have not read it before the murder.’
Rahmat said that so far none of his relatives and friends made any allegation that Ananta had received any threat over mobile phone, but they were aware of the allegation of threatening Ananta on different web portals.
Detective Branch assistant commissioner Mustafizur Rahman said, ‘Most of the wounds of Ananta were in the head that were similar to that of other bloggers killed in recent time.’
Militant outfit Ansar Bangla-8 and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent unit claimed their responsibility for killing Ananta in postings on social website, Mostafizur said.
‘We found the pattern of attack is similar to attacks on other bloggers killed or injured in recent time,’ Rapid Action Battalion director (intelligence wing) Lieutenant Colonel Abul Kalam Azad told New Age. He said their teams were working to identify the ‘actual perpetrators.’
Secular activists marched through Sylhet city to demand justice for Ananta and accused the government of failing to protect free thinkers.
Almost of the business establishments, including shopping malls, roadside shops and market places, in the city were closed during the general strike.
Two CNG-run auto-rickshaws were vandalised at Court Point in the city at about 9:30am.
Sylhet Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Debashish Debu announced at a rally that they would hold a meeting in the city on Friday afternoon demanding the arrest of the killers.
Local people also formed a human chain at Subidbazar around noon demanding immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of the killers.
Noted author and academic Muhammad Zafar Iqbal criticised the government for failure to arrest the killers of free-thinking writers.
He said that the killing of Ananta added another feather to the government failure in ensuring security of people.
Activists of the Ganajagaran Mancha, Progressive Student Alliance and other progressive organisations held a rally in front of Central Shaheed Minar at Chowhatta demanding arrest of the killers.
In the evening, at least 100 activists of the Mancha led by its spokesperson Imran H Sarker, marched a torch-light procession that paraded different street including in Dhaka.
Later, they a held a brief rally at Shahbagh, where Imran alleged that the killing of the Mancha organiser Ananta was happened because the government failed to identify and punish the killer of Avijit Roy, Rajib Haider and Oyasiqur Rahman.
A group of Dhaka University students, Bikkhubdho Sadharan Shikkharthi, burnt an effigy of lawmaker Mahmud-us-Samad Chowdhury Kayes at Raju sculpture for his humiliating comments about noted writer Zafar Iqbal.
In separate statements, rights groups and activists, including Human Rights Forum Bangladesh convener Sultana Kamal, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, and Moulik Odhikar Surakkhsha Committee alleged that the government took no effective measures to ensure security to the free thinkers even after the recurrence of killing incidents.
Source: New Age