HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dhaka| Updated: Aug 07, 2015

Blogger Niloy Neel was hacked to death in Dhaka. (Photo courtesy-
Niloy Neel’s Facebook page)

Unidentified assailants entered an apartment building and hacked a
40-year-old blogger to death in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday, police
and friends said.

Niloy Chowdhury who ran his Facebook page as Niloy Neel was found dead
after at least five assailants posing as potential tenants looking for
accommodation entered the house in Dhaka’s Gotan area and killed him,
said officier-in-charge of Khilgaon Police Station, Mustafizur Rahman.

The motive behind the killing was not immediately clear.

Chowdhury was known to his friends as a secular blogger. His friends
say it was unbelievable that he was targeted.

The killing on Friday was the fourth this year after a
Bangladeshi-American blogger was hacked to death in February in a
deadly attack on the Dhaka University campus.

One month later another blogger, Oyeshiqur Rahman, who used to write
about secularism was attacked in Dhaka. In May, blogger Ananta Bijoy
Das was killed in northeastern city of Sylhet.

Investigators say all the killings were related to blogging
criticizing radical Islam.

Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent and a relatively unknown group
Ansar Bangla 7 claimed the responsibility for the previous attacks.

No group has claimed responsibility for Chowdhury’s murder yet.

Imran H Sarker, leader of a secular group that campaigns for capital
punishment for war criminals, involving the country’s independence war
in 1971, said Chowdhury was an active member of his group “Gana
Jagaran Manch”. The platform is vocal for banning Banladesh’s largest
Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, which had campaigned against
Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

In his Facebook post, Chowdhury criticized radical Islam.

After the news of his murder spread, one of his friends wrote on
Chowdhury’s Facebook timeline that “You won’t be forgotten”. Another
wrote: “Dada (brother), I can’t believe, you are no more.”

Free thinkers targeted repeatedly

Star Online Report

Free thinkers have been repeatedly targeted by extremist groups throughout Bangladesh and it appears that the trend set in the past on handling such issues is discouraging.

In the last 16 years, deadly attacks aiming to kill were carried out on at least five such men including the likes of prominent intellectuals Shamsur Rahman and Humayun Azad, and none of those incidents ended up with justice being served to the victims.

The matter was resolved in only one case and that too with the attackers going free!

On January 18, 1999, renowned poet Shamsur Rahman was attacked in his residence by militants of Harkat-ul Jihad. Though he was unharmed, his wife was badly hurt.

Later, Mufti Hannan, commander of the militant outfit, confessed his outfit’s involvement in the crime and said their orders were to kill. Meanwhile, the attackers were allowed to walk free.

On February 27, 2004, eminent writer Humayun Azad was brutally hacked near Bangla Academy while coming out of the Ekushey Book Fair. He survived the attack.

The murder case is yet to be finished and deposition of testimony is still underway after 10 years. Last year, one of the accused was snatched away in a filmy-style ambush in Mymensingh’s Trishal upazila.


Blogger and self-proclaimed atheist Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed by alleged militants in Uttara on January 14, 2013. He survived the vicious wounds.

Two years have lapsed, but police are yet to press charges and now they say that the investigation is on the verge of completion.

Blogger Avijit Roy was killed and his wife brutally hacked near TSC at Dhaka University

Perhaps most alarming, during the upsurge of Gonojagoron Mancha, was the murder of Rajib Haider on February 26, 2013, in Dhaka’s Pallabi.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself visited and comforted his bereaved family, and two years later eight including a leader of militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team have been indicted. Trial in the case is expected to begin on April 21.

A few days ago on February 26, blogger Avijit Roy was killed and his wife brutally hacked near TSC at Dhaka University, yards away from the spot where Humayun Azad was attacked.

His wife alleged negligence of law enforcers stationed nearby during the attack.

Investigation is underway and prime suspect Farabi Shafiur Rahman has been remanded and several others have been quizzed in this connection.