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Ananta Bijoy Das, Beloved by Humanity, Hacked to Death by Islamists.

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Loved by all Progressive Humanity: hacked to Death by Islamists.

Ananta Bijoy Das: Yet another Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death.

 

(CNN)Attacks on bloggers critical of Islam have taken on a disturbing regularity in Bangladesh, with yet another writer hacked to death Tuesday.

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 and machetes, 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 say 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.”

Public killings

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.

Championing science

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 Das was critical of fundamentalism and the attacks on secular thinkers, he was mostly concerned with championing science, a fellow blogger said.

He was the editor of a local science magazine, Jukti (“Reason”), and wrote several books, including one work on Charles Darwin.

In 2006, the blog awarded Das its Rationalist Award for his “deep and courageous interest in spreading secular & humanist ideals and messages in a place which is not only remote, but doesn’t have even a handful of rationalists.”

“He was a voice of social resistance; he was an activist,” said Sarker. “And now, he too has been silenced.”

Taking to the streets

Soon after Das’ death, his Facebook wall was flooded with messages of shock and condolence. And hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Sylhet demanding that the government bring his killers to justice.

“We’ve heard from Ananta’s friends that some people threatened to kill him as he was critical of religion,” Das’ brother-in-law Somor Bijoy Shee Shekhor said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We are ashamed, brother Bijoy,” someone posted on Das’ Facebook page.

“Is a human life worth so little? Do we not have the right to live without fear?” wrote another.

The beloved comrade will be remembered by all humanity.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 12, 2015 at 5:04 pm

5 Responses

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  1. This isn’t appearing on the front page of the blog – any idea why?

    februarycallendar

    May 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

  2. Hear hear! Sill reblog at Shiraz

    Jim Denham

    May 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm

  3. Andrew Coates

    May 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

  4. Ananta Bijoy Das was invited by Swedish Pen to celebrate “The day of freedom for the press”, May 3rd. He was denied visa by the swedish embassy in Dhaka on april 22. Had Bijoy Das been granted visa he would arrived in Sweden on May 3 and stayed here for two weeks.
    -Then he wouldn’t be killed today, comments Annika Thor from Swedish Pen to the swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

    Peter Lindgren, Stockholm

    May 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm

  5. “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”

    Which is exactly why the religious fascists killed him, its an admission of intellectual defeat by them.

    This is why free speech is so crucial .it is the life blood of science which creates progress.

    Why are some on the left moving away from this and into post modernism.

    Dangerous times.

    Dave

    May 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm


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