Facts about Ansar Bangla 7 that murdered blogger Avijit Roy
By Syeda Munawara Qazi
Dhaka, Bangladesh: The initial investigations conducted by local police support doubts that Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh is behind the murder of international blogger Avijit Roy who was hacked (butchered) to death on February 26 in Dhaka.
The murder of Avijit by radical Islamists increases fears that Bangladesh is steadily bowing down to radicals and any radical group having weaponry support can instantly take over the country with no resistance.
This fear is not unfounded. Avijit was hacked to death in the presence of hundreds of people present on the scene and his wife was crying and trying to save her husband bear handedly but nobody—virtually nobody came forward to save this couple in a busy road of Dhaka just outside Teacher Student centre.
An unknown Islamist organization Ansar Bangla 7 has taken the responsibility of this brutal act but everybody knows in Dhaka that there is no Ansar Bangla 7 and this is a pseudonymous organization of Jamaat-i-Islami.
According to Bangladeshi intelligence sources, Ansar Bangla 7 is nothing just a dubious name of created allegedly by Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and deceased Avijit received threats and senders were keeping changing names of organization. He got threats from organisations having names like Son of Islam, Ansar-e-Toheed, Tehrik Islami etc etc.
Avijit was one Bangladeshi bloggers who started Shahbag protests in 2013. This campaign demanded capital punishment for the Islamist leader and war criminal Abdul Quader Molla and also demanded ban over radical Wahabi Islamist organization Jamaat-e-Islami from politics.
To response this campaign, Jamaat-i-Islami held a number of processions calling for the execution of “atheist bloggers” who were demanding the ban over Jamaat. Islamist demanded the introduction of a blasphemy law in Bangladesh similar to what is in Pakistan—the former part of Bangladesh.
Many atheist bloggers who supported the Shahbag protests came under attack, and one blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed by Islamist groups on 15 February 2013.
A month before the protest, another blogger Asif Mohiuddin was attacked outside his house by four youths influenced by Anwar Al-Awlaki. Asif Mohiuddin was on an Islamist hit list that also included the murdered sociology professor Shafiul Islam. Mohiuddin’s blog was shut down by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and he was jailed.
The secular government arrested several other bloggers and blocked about a dozen websites and blogs, as well as giving police protection to some bloggers.
Avijit Roy was outspoken against these developments and he western media and rights organizations for support and he coordinated protests in Dhaka, New York, Washington, D.C., London, Ottawa and other cities in support of the jailed bloggers.
Avijit Roy was born in 1972 in Dhaka where he murdered on February 26, 2015. He was engineer by profession and a prominent advocate of free expression in Bangladesh, coordinating international protests against government censorship and imprisonment of bloggers.
He started his blog Mukto-Mona that became a hub of Internet community for freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists, and humanists of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent.
Avijit studied at Dhaka University where his father Ajoy Roy, was a professor. He did his Ph.D from National University of Singapore.
Roy published eight Bangladesh books and his articles have been published in magazines and journals. His last two books, Obisshahser Dorshon (The Philosophy of Disbelief) and Biswasher Virus (The Virus of Faith), have been critically well received and are popular Bengali books on science, skepticism, and rationalism.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.