Atheist Blogger, Niloy Neel, Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

Niloy Neel was an atheist from a Hindu background
Niloy Neel was an atheist from a Hindu background

A Bangladeshi blogger known for his atheist views has been hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes in the capital Dhaka, police say.

Niloy Neel was attacked at his home in the city’s Goran area.

He is the fourth secularist blogger to have been killed this year by suspected Islamist militants in Bangladesh.

Imran H Sarkar, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, told the BBC that Mr Neel had been an anti-extremist voice of reason.

“He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights – especially women’s rights and the rights of indigenous people,” he said.

BBC World Service South Asia editor Charles Haviland says that, like previous victims, Mr Neel was not only secular but atheist and, like two of the others, he was from a Hindu, not a Muslim, background.

The BBC’s Akbar Hossain in Dhaka says Mr Neel had filed a police report expressing fear for his life, but his complaints had not been not followed up.

Police said about six attackers had tricked their way into Mr Neel’s home by saying they were looking to rent a flat.

“Two of them then took him to a room and then slaughtered him there,” deputy police commissioner Muntashirul Islam said.

“His wife was in the flat but she was confined to another room.”

In May, secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was killed by masked men with machetes in Sylhet. He was said to have received death threats from Islamist extremists.

In March, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in Dhaka. Blogger Avijit Roy, who courted controversy by championing atheism and also tackling issues such as homosexuality, was killed in Dhaka in February.

Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government is indifferent to attacks on bloggers by Islamist militants.

Two people have been arrest

SOURCE: BBC News

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