Fourth blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

DHAKA: A gang armed with machetes hacked a secular blogger to death at his home in Dhaka on Friday in the fourth such murder in Bangladesh since the start of the year, an activist group and police said.

Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen-name Niloy Neel, was killed after the gang broke into his apartment, according to the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, which was alerted to the attack by a witness.

 “They entered his room in the fifth floor and shoved his friend aside and then hacked him to death. He was a listed target of the extremists,” the network’s head, Imran H Sarker, told AFP.

Police confirmed Chakrabarti had been murdered by a group of half a dozen people in the capital’s Goran neighbourhood, although they had no details on his background or the motive for the killing.

“There were six people who knocked his door, saying that they were looking to rent a flat,” Muntashirul Islam, a deputy police commissioner, told AFP.

“Two of them then took him to a room and then slaughtered him there,” Islam added. “His wife was in the flat but she was confined to another room.”

Asif Mohiuddin, another secular blogger who himself survived an attack by militants in Bangladesh in 2013, described Chakrabarti as an atheist “free thinker” whose posts appeared on several sites.

“He was critical against religions and wrote against Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist fundamentalism. He was a founding member of a rationalist organisation,” Mohiuddin, who is now based in Berlin, told AFP by phone.

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