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Bangladesh police arrest suspect in blogger’s murder

Bangladesh police has arrested a suspected member of a banned militant group for killing an atheist blogger in April

world Updated: Oct 17, 2016 16:56 IST
HT Correspondent
Bangladeshi policemen keep vigil at the scene of a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September  2.
Bangladeshi policemen keep vigil at the scene of a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September 2.(AP File)

Bangladesh police has arrested a suspected member of a banned militant group for killing an atheist blogger in April.

Rashidun Nabi Bhuiyan was picked up from Sayedabad bus terminal area in Dhaka on Sunday night, police said on Monday.

The Ansarullah Bangla Team member was involved in the hacking to death of blogger Nazim Uddin Samad in April near Jagannath University, Dhaka police’s counter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam said.

“He was the leader of the operation team. They carried sharp weapons and hacked Nazim dead,” said Islam.

Nabi joined the Ansarullah Bangla Team last year and is an active member of the group, police said.

“Five men including Rashidun Nabi took part in Nazim Uddin Samad’s killing. They all carried sharp weapons and one carried firearms. They hacked Nazim Uddin with the sharp weapons and later shot him when people started gathering there,” Islam said.

Nazim Uddin, a law student of Jagannath University, was killed on April 6 for his views against radicalism and advocating atheism. In his Facebook page, he used to criticise religious bigotry.

Islam said Nabi also had links to the attack on publisher Ahmed Rashid Tutul and the murder of gay rights activist and USAID official Xulhaz Mannan.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, has witnessed the rise of militant activities in recent years, with dozens of atheists, members of minority groups and bloggers being their targets.

In a major attack, 20 hostages including 17 foreigners were killed on July 1 at a restaurant in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack but the government has rejected the claim, saying the IS has no existence in the country. The government said the Jamatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh was behind the attack.