Blogger and writer Avijit Roy has been killed and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonya, severely injured when unidentified miscreants hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University on Thursday night.
Avijit, son of DU teacher Dr Ajoy Roy and also the founder of Mukto-Mona Blog, and his wife have been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.
Later, he died while undergoing treatment around 10:30pm, said Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam.
Bonya told the Dhaka Tribune: “Two miscreants attacked us with cleaver near TSC intersection around 8:45pm.”
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.
OC Sirajul said: “We do not have any clear idea about the attackers. But, the police is suspecting that those, who attacked Humayun Azad, might be behind this as the attacking style suggested similarity.”
On February 27, 2004, professor Humayun Azad was attacked on the way back from book fair, in the following August he died in Germany.
Miscreants also exploded two crude bombs outside of the DMCH around 11:30pm, immediately after the news spread in the city.
DU Proctor Amjad Ali said: “I came to know the writer had been receiving threats from militants because of his anti-communal activism.”
Among the teachers of Dhaka University who rushed to Dhaka Medical College hospital hearing the news of the attack, were Professor Dr Abul Barkat, Professor Anwar Hossain.
Professor Anwar Hossain said the those, who are against the country's liberation, democracy, free thoughts and attacked Humayun Azad, have perpetrated this.
Liton Nandi, Dhaka University Chhatra Union president, told the Dhaka Tribune they were set to bring a torch procession, protesting the attack and killing in a short time.
Dhaka University teacher Robayet Ferdous told the Dhaka Tribune that the teachers and student of Dhaka University will hold a rally at TSC in protest against the killing at 11am Friday.
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 psuedonym 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 to attend the book fair as two of his books came out in the fair.