Four unknown attackers have killed a secular blogger with cleavers and machetes on a busy street in northeastern Bangladesh, making it the third deadly incident to occur this year.
Ananta Bijoy Das, 32, was walking to his work at a bank when he was attacked in the Subid Bazar area of Sylhet city. He was taken to the hospital but he succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead on arrival.
"This gentleman was on his way to the office, and was around 400-500 metres away, when he was intercepted by a group of men and attacked with sharp, cutting weapons," Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Kamrul Hasan told Al Jazeera English.
The attackers fled from the scene. The police said that they are speaking to the witnesses, but there were very few witnesses as the crime happened in the morning. No particular group has claimed responsibility yet.
Das used to write blogs for the website Mukto- Mona, which was earlier moderated by Avijit Roy, the Bangladeshi-American blogger who was also hacked to death allegedly by Islamist extremists in February.
Fellow writers say that the attack highlights a culture of impunity. Das was known to have written against religious fundamentalism.
The Hindu reported that Das’ friend Shahiduzzamn Paplu said that the blogger wrote on science, and also had written an introduction for Roy’s book.
Roy, who was killed in a similar manner in February when he visited Dhaka for a book fair, had also criticised religious intolerance in his blogs.
In March, another blogger Washiqur Rahman Babu, was also killed in Dhaka over alleged anti-Islamic writings.
News of Das’ death was met with shock and anger on social media:
Avijit Roy, W Rahman & now Ananta Bijoy Das, Dear Bangladesh 'Killing people isn't progress'.— Biswatosh Sinha (@biswatosh) May 12, 2015
Free thinker blogger,writer,editor Ananta Bijoy Das hacked to death in Bangladesh,he was the editor of Jukti (Rationality)..great loss ...— Kazi Mahboob Hassan (@KaziMahboob) May 12, 2015