Sacked major Zia, 5 others charged with Avijit murder

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 21:47, Mar 14, 2019 | Updated : 21:55, Mar 14, 2019

File photo shows writer-blogger Avijit Roy, who was killed by machete-wielding assailants inside Dhaka University campus while returning home from Ekushey Book Fair on Feb 26, 2014.Investigators have pressed charges on six people, including sacked Bangladesh Army major Syed Ziaul Haque, with the 2015 killing of writer-blogger Avijit Roy.
Inspector Monirul Islam of the counter-terror unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police filed the chargesheet on Wednesday with a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate court, which fixed Mar 25 for a hearing.
Court police’s General Registration Officer Nizam Uddin told Bangla Tribune that the investigating officer, counter-terror officer Islam, appealed for dropping charges against 15 people.
A total of 34 people, including Avijit’s wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, have been witnesses, he added.
The five others charged with the killing are Akram Hossain alias Abir alias Adnan alias Hasibul alias Abdullah, Mozammel Hossain alias Saimon (organisational name Shahriar), Md Abu Siddique Sohel alias Sakib alias Sajid alias Shahab, Md Arafat Rahman, (organisational name Siam alias Sazzad) and Shafiur Rahman alias Farabi.
Investigators said all of them except for Rabbi were involved with banned Islamist militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team.
Fugitives major Zia and Akram are the masterminds of the killing while Farabi was charged for instigating the murder, investigators had said earlier, adding that Md Mukul Rana alias Shafiqul Islam alias Hadi, who was involved in the killing, died in a shootout with Detective Branch (DB).
Bangladeshi American writer, Avijit Roy, who founded the blog ‘Muktomona’ (free thinkers) and his wife Bonya were attacked on the night of Feb 26, 2015, on the Dhaka University Campus.
Machete-wielding men attacked the couple as they came out from the Ekushey Book Fair.
Avijit suffered a deep gash on his head and died while Bonya survived but lost a finger in the assault.
Islamist zealots had been threatening Avijit, a bioengineer and a naturalised US citizen, for his active campaign against Islamist radicals, for quite some time.
His father Ajay Roy, a well-known physicist who has taught at the Dhaka University for a long time, started a police case over the incident.
Since the killing of Avijit, several others, including online activists, writers, publishers, members from the minority communities have been attacked or killed in a similar fashion by machete-wielding attackers, targeting the head to ensure immediate death.