Law student hacked to death in Bangladesh

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Photo: Mr. Nazimuddin Samad

A Bangladeshi law student who had expressed secular views online has been killed in the capital, Dhaka.

Nazimuddin Samad was hacked with machetes at a traffic junction late on Wednesday and then shot, police said.

The 28-year-old was reported to have been an organiser of the Ganajagran Manch, a secular campaigning group.

A string of prominent secular bloggers have been attacked or killed by religious extremists in Bangladesh in the last year.

Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government has failed to properly address the attacks.

Police said three assailants on a motorcycle attacked Mr Samad and then shot him, The Dhaka Tribune reported.

Police have not named any suspects in the case nor confirmed a religious motive.

Mr Samad, a student of Jagannath University, regularly wrote against religious extremism on his Facebook page. He had written “I have no religion” on his profile under religious views.

His friends said that Nazim used to campaign for secularism on Facebook and was critical of radical Islamists. A day before the murder, he expressed concerns over the country’s law and order in a Facebook post.

Jagannath University’s Proctor Nur Mohammad said that Nazim got admitted to the university two months ago. “We have informed his family about the murder and are taking detail information about him,” he said.

Nazim is the son of Shamshul Haque from Bianibazar area of Sylhet. He was the information and research secretary of Sylhet district unit Bangabandhu Jatiya Jubo Parishad. He was also an activist of Gonojagoron Moncho’s Sylhet wing.

Shamir Chandra Sutradhar, inspector (investigation) of Sutrapur police station, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Even though the spot was crowded at the time of the murder, they are not sharing any information with the police.

“However, we are trying to identify the assailants by talking to the shopkeepers and residents of the area.”

Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home.

They all appeared on a list of 84 “atheist bloggers” drawn up by Islamic groups in 2013 and widely circulated.

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