Millennium Post

8 charged for killing ‘atheist’ blogger in Bangladesh

Seven university students and chief of a banned Islamist group were on Wednesday charged by a Bangladeshi court for the murder of an “atheist” blogger here in 2013.

Ahmed Rajib Haider, 35, was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka in 2013, days after he helped in launching a campaign against Islamist leaders accused of committing crimes against humanity by siding with Pakistani troops during the country’s 1971 liberation war.

On January 28 last year, police pressed charges against seven students from North South University and extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team chief Mufti Jashim Uddin Rahmani, the Daily Star reported.

Of them, Rezwanul Azad Rana, who was mentioned in the charge sheet as the “planner” of the murder, is on the run. The announcement of the trial comes weeks after Bangladeshi-born American blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka.

Roy, 42, known for his critique of religious extremism, was hacked to death on February 26 here by machete-wielding assailants who attacked the Bangladeshi-origin writer for his anti-religious writings.

Rahmani and the six NSU students, now in jail, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after Judge Ruhul Amin of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court read out the charges to them. 
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