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This too is terror, and must end

  • Published at 01:35 am June 13th, 2018
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Photo: BIGSTOCK

The government must do everything in its power to make sure that this does not give way to another series of targeted killings

Publisher Shahzahan Bachchu was dragged out of his shop by assailants on motorcycles and shot dead in Munshiganj yesterday.

There is no doubt that the murder of any innocent individual is a heinous crime and should be investigated thoroughly. But, considering the nature of the crime and the victim, we urge the administration to treat this investigation with the utmost importance.

Since 2013, the spate of murders targeting bloggers and free thinkers remains a dark period in Bangladesh’s history, which has served to highlight the undercurrent of radical extremism present in our soil.

Bangladesh has come a long way since then, making economic progress and building on our already strong values of secularism and democracy, showing immense resilience in the process, especially in the wake of the gruesome Holey Artisan attack almost two years ago.

The last thing Bangladesh needs right now is another round of blogger killings, targeting publishers and writers. The continuation of these killings only catalyze a culture of hatred and undercuts whatever progress Bangladesh has made. 

The law enforcement’s role was far from ideal when Avijit Roy and Oyasiqur Rahman were murdered in cold blood. Very few saw justice, while many were, in fact, jailed for publishing writings which went against the grain when it came to popular religious beliefs.

We cannot let murderers and extremists determine what we stand for. 

The murder of publisher Shahzahan Bachchu is one that should be taken with utmost seriousness, investigated thoroughly, and his assailants punished to the full extent of the law. 

The government must do everything in its power to make sure that this does not give way to another series of targeted killings. We cannot afford to go through this again.