Bangladesh ar­rests sus­pect in blog­ger, pub­lisher mur­ders

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Bangladesh po­lice said yes­ter­day they had ar­rested an Is­lamist mil­i­tant leader wanted in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of a blog­ger and pub­lisher. Khairul Islam “di­rectly took part” in the killings of Niloy Chot­topad­hay and Faisal Are­fin Deepan last year, po­lice said, two of the dozens of deadly at­tacks on sec­u­lar ac­tivists and for­eign­ers.

De­tec­tives nabbed the 24-year-old, an in­tel­li­gence wing leader of the banned out­fit An­sar al-Islam, also known as An­sarul­lah Bangla Team, from Dhaka’s main rail­way sta­tion late Fri­day.

“He di­rectly took part in the (two) killings be­sides run­ning re­con­nais­sance for months on the vic­tims,” Ma­sudur Rah­man, Dhaka po­lice spokesman, told AFP. “The killings took place by the or­der of Ma­jor Zia,” the of­fi­cial said, re­fer­ring to Syed Zi­aul Haque, a for­mer army of­fi­cer who al­legedly heads ABT-one of two ma­jor banned do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist out­fits blamed by the gov­ern­ment for the wave of violence.

Chot­topad­hay, a blog­ger, was hacked to death in Au­gust last year at his home by ma­chete-wield­ing as­sas­sins. Deepan, a pub­lisher, was killed in his of­fice in Oc­to­ber 2015. Bangladesh has been roiled by grue­some killings, with a par­tic­u­larly bloody mas­sacre in July that left 22 dead af­ter an as­sault on an up­scale cafe in the cap­i­tal. The Is­lamic State group and Al Qaeda in the In­dian Sub­con­ti­nent have said they were be­hind most at­tacks, but Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina’s gov­ern­ment has blamed ABT and an­other banned out­fit Ja­mayetul Mu­jahideen Bangladesh.

The July car­nage trig­gered a se­cu­rity force crack­down on Is­lamist ex­trem­ists, with po­lice shooting dead nearly 40 sus­pected mil­i­tants since. — AFP

AM­RIT­SAR: In­dian Sikh devo­tees gather at the rail­way sta­tion at At­tari, some 35kms from Am­rit­sar yes­ter­day as they pre­pare to leave on a Pak­istani train bound for La­hore to mark the 547th birth an­niver­sary of Guru Nanak Dev. —AFP

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