Wednesday 20 June 2018

Bangladesh blogger murder police arrest two more suspects

Kausar Hossain Khan, 29, second from right, and Kamal Hossain Sardar, 29, second from left, were arrested. (AP)
Kausar Hossain Khan, 29, second from right, and Kamal Hossain Sardar, 29, second from left, were arrested. (AP)

Two more suspected members of a banned militant group thought to be behind the killing of a secular blogger in Bangladesh have been arrested.

Police in Dhaka said Kausar Hossain Khan, 29, and Kamal Hossain Sardar, 29, were arrested late on Thursday and are suspected members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team blamed for attacks on atheist bloggers and writers.

It follow the arrests two weeks ago of two other suspects - Saad-al-Nahin and Masud Rana - for involvement in the killing of the 28-year-old blogger Niladri Chottopadhay Niloy.

Police said the latest arrests are a result of interrogations of the other two suspects.

Mr Niloy was hacked to death on August 7. His wife, Asha Moni, filed a murder case against four unnamed persons.

Khan and Sardar have been released on bail after being accused of attempted murder in an attack on another blogger, Asif Mohiuddin, two years ago.

Mr Niloy was known to his friends as an atheist blogger whose online name is Niloy Chowdhury. His family and friends said he has criticised radical Islamists at home and abroad and had sought police protection after receiving threats. The police asked him to leave the country for his safety.

The US has expressed its concern over the killing, while the United Nations called for Bangladeshi authorities to ensure accountability and prevent such violence.

UN Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt is scheduled to visit Bangladesh from Monday to assess the state of freedom of religion and belief in the South Asian country.

In February, Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death on the Dhaka University campus while walking with his wife. Two others were attacked and killed in March and April, one in Dhaka and another in the north-eastern city of Sylhet.

Press Association

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