Photojournalist arrested over blogger’s murder in Bangladesh

DHAKA (TIP): A Bangladeshi photojournalist has been arrested over his alleged role in the murder of an “atheist” blogger who was hacked to death last month by masked machete-wielding assailants, police said on June 10.

“A team of CID (criminal investigation department) arrested him as a suspect,” M Rokonuddin, additional police commissioner of northeastern Sylhet, where Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death, told PTI.

He said photographer Idris Ali, who works for a national and a Sylhet daily, was remanded into police custody for seven days for interrogation on orders of a court there. Later, he was brought to the CID headquarters here under security.

CID’s senior superintendent Abdullah Hell Baki said here that Ali was under surveillance ahead of his arrest, but refused to elaborate, saying: “I can’t tell you much about his links until we interrogate him”.

We are awaiting the suspect to reach here later this evening,” he said.

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33-year old Das, a banker by profession, was the latest of three secular bloggers hacked to death this year by suspected Islamists after machete-wielding militants attacked him last month.

In a related development, Bangladesh overnight banned Islamist outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), suspecting its involvement in murders of several secular bloggers in recent months and over alleged links to al-Qaida.

The ban came as 10 prominent Bangladeshis, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s advisor HT Imam, vice-chancellor of premier Dhaka University professor Arefin Siddique and popular writer and physicist professor Zafar Iqbal earlier this week received death threats in letters.

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