Ananta Bijoy Das is at least the third blogger killed this year in Bangladesh for online posts critical of Islam. The attack on bloggers critical of Islam has taken on a disturbing regularity in Bangladesh with yet another writer hacked to death, apparently by Muslims again.
CNN Ananta Bijoy Das, 32, was killed Tuesday morning as he left his home on his way to work at a bank, police in the northeastern Bangladeshi city of Sylhet said.
Four masked men attacked him, hacking him to death with cleavers, said Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Kamrul Ahsan.
The men then ran away. Because of the time of the morning when the attack happened, there were few witnesses. But police said they are following up on interviewing the few people who saw the incident.
“It’s one after another after another,” said Imran Sarker, who heads the Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh. “It’s the same scenario again and again. It’s very troubling.” Das’ death was at least the third this year of someone who was killed for online posts critical of Islam. In each case, the attacks were carried out publicly on city streets.
In March, Washiqur Rahman, 27, was hacked to death by two men with knives and meat cleavers just outside his house as he headed to work at a travel agency in the capital, Dhaka.
In February, a Bangladesh-born American blogger, Avijit Roy, was similarly killed with machetes and knives as he walked back from a book fair in Dhaka.
The three victims are hardly the only ones who have paid a steep price for their views. In the last two years, several bloggers have died, either murdered or under mysterious circumstances.
Das was an atheist who contributed to Mukto Mona (“free thinkers”), the blog that Roy founded. Mukto Mona contains sections titled “Science” and “Rationalism,” and most of the articles hold science up to religion as a litmus test, which it invariably fails. While he was critical of fundamentalism and the attack on secular thinkers, he was mostly concerned with championing science, a fellow blogger said.