A bloodied Rafida Ahmad with her husband Avijit Roy lying on the ground. He was hacked to death by Islamist Jihadis in Dhaka.
DHAKA, January 26, 2015 – Bangladeshi-American writer and secular blogger Avijit Roy has been hacked to death, and his wife, writer Rafida Ahmed Bonna, severely injured by Islamist goons as they were leaving a book fair in Dhaka University on Thursday night.
Avijit was the founder of Mukto-Mona Blog. His wife has been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.
Witnesses said some unidentified ‘miscreants’ swooped on the bloggers and hacked them mercilessly between 8:30pm and 9pm while they were returning from the book fair, leaving them critically injured.
This is not the first time a secular blogger has been assassinated in Bangladesh. On February 27, 2004, professor Humayun Azad was attacked on the way back from a book fair. The following August, he died in Germany.
Dhaka University Proctor Amjad Ali told the Dhaka Tribune: “I came to know the writer had been receiving threats from militants because of his anti-communal activism.”
Earlier in 2014, online bookstore Rokomari.com stopped selling books by the well-known writer after an Islamic militant issued death threats on Facebook to the website’s owner.
The decision to withdraw his books was prompted by death threats posted to Facebook by Farabi Shafiur Rahman, an Islamist extremist allegedly linked to Jamaat-e-Islami.
Farabi accused Avijit of defaming Islam and the “prophet” Mohammed and accused Rokomari.com chairman Mahmudul Hasan Sohag of “promoting atheism” by selling his books.
In his Facebook post, Farabi specified the office address of Rokomari.com and called upon his “Islamist friends” in the adjacent locality to attack.
He also told Sohag that he would suffer the same fate as Ahmed Rajib Haider, a popular blogger known by the pseudonym Thaba Baba, who was hacked to death last year by machete-wielding Islamic militants.
Avijit, a Bangladesh-born engineer, who was living in the United States, rose to prominence with his books on philosophy, scientific thought and human rights issues.
Among his books are Biswas and Bigyan (Belief and Science), Abishwasher Darshan (philosophy of atheism), Samakamita: Baigyanik ebong Samajmanastattik Anusandhan (Homosexuality: Scientific and socio-psychological intervention), Satantra Bhabna o Buddir Mukti (individual thoughts and freedom of thoughts) etc.
Avijit and his wife came to Bangladesh from the United States to attend the book fair as two of his books came out in the fair.
To read more on the Islamist enterprise in Bangladesh, click here.