13 named in the charge sheet of blogger Niloy murder case, and 10 in the case over the attack on Tutul
Police have pressed separate charges over the murder of blogger Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy and the attempted killing of publisher Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul.
Both incidents took place in 2015 amid a series of militant attacks on bloggers, publishers and free-thinkers. Militant threats on free-thinking claimed the lives of 10 bloggers, publishers and teachers between 2013 and 2016, forcing many others to leave the country.
The Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on Wednesday submitted a charge sheet to a Dhaka court against 13 accused, including sacked Major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Zia, over Niloy’s assassination.
DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Walid Hossain said Zia has been on the run, but the rest of the accused are behind the bar.
Of the arrestees, three gave confessional statements in a Dhaka court.
Identifying themselves as members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a banned militant outfit, they revealed that the sacked army official masterminded the killing, the police officer added.
Three or four unidentified persons hacked Niloy to death with machetes by posing as prospective tenants at his residence in Dhaka’s East Goran around 1:15pm on August 7, 2015.
A murder case was filed at Khilgaon police station on the night of that day. Later, the case was handed over to DB on August 8. The DB arrested 12 people during investigation and handed them over to the court.
Niloy, 28, who was also a Gonojagoron Mancha activist and a Dhaka University student, was the fourth blogger to have been killed that year by suspected Islamist militants.
Meanwhile, a DB team of DMP’s Ramna division submitted a charge sheet to a Dhaka court also on Wednesday in connection with the attack on publisher Tutul, a close friend of slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy, on October 31, 2015.
DMP sources said 10 accused were named in the charge sheet, but two of them, including sacked Major Zia, are yet to be arrested. Two arrestees have confessed to being linked to the crime and that they are members of the militant outfit ABT.
A group of miscreants stormed Tutul’s office ‘Suddhaswar’ at Dhaka’s Lalmatia area and hacked him along with another person with an aim to assassinate him.
On February 15, 2013, Ahmed Rajib Haider, an atheist blogger and an organizer at the Ganajagaran Mancha, was killed while leaving his house in Palashnagar, a Mirpur neighborhood in Dhaka—which was the first in the wave of murders.
To date, his case is the only one that’s been fully tried. On December 30, 2015, after almost three years, two ABT members were sentenced to death for the killing.
Trail in the case over blogger and writer Avijit Roy’s murder on February 26, 2015 is underway as six accused were indicted on August 1 last year. And, blogger Oyasiqur Rahman Babu’s murder trial is in the final stage.
On September 21, the prosecution concluding its argument and sought death penalty for eight militants accused in the case filed for the incident that took place On March 30, 2015.