Bangladeshi publisher hacked to death in separate attack

Publisher of secular books hacked to death in Bangladesh hours after similar attack on two secular writers and another publisher on same day

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The body of Faisal Arefin Dipan is carried on a stretcher at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 31, 2015

A Bangladeshi publisher of secular books was hacked to death in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Saturday just hours after two secular writers and another publisher were injured in a separate attack, police said.

Faisal Arefin Dipan, 43, was killed with sharp weapons at the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house, in his office on the third floor of a crowded market in the city center.

"I saw him lying upside down and in a massive pool of blood. They slaughtered his neck. He is dead," his father Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq, who is a noted Bangladesh intellectual and writer told AFP.

The attack came just hours after unknown assailants attacked two secular writers and another publisher in Dhaka. One of them was in critical condition, police said.

"He published the books of Avijit Roy. They also attacked other publishers of Roy but only my son died," Dipan’s father said.

Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq, the father of Faisal Arefin Dipan, is surrounded by the media in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 31, 2015 (AP)

Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin writer and blogger was also hacked to death near a book fair in the capital Dhaka in February. He was a critic of religious militancy. His wife and fellow blogger Bonya Ahmed were also seriously injured in the attack. This was the first in a series of attacks this year that targeted secular writers in Bangladesh.

Police inspector Mozammel Haq also confirmed Dipan’s death adding that Dipan’s father alerted police officers after he could not reach his son by phone.

"Officers entered his office and found him in a pool of blood. He was hacked in the neck and head," assistant commissioner of police Shiblee Noman told AFP.

Dipan was the owner of Jagritee Publishers based at Aziz Supermarket, a hub for alternative and small publishers in Dhaka.

Earlier on Saturday, two secular writers and another publisher of Roy were stabbed and shot in Dhaka.

Three unknown assailants entered the office of publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul and attacked them, police official Jamal Uddin said adding that the attackers locked all of them inside the office and fled the scene.

The three assailants were rushed to hospital and at least one of them was in critical condition.

The two writers were later identified by police as Ranadeep Basu and Tareque Rahim.

British high commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Gibson condemned Saturday’s attacks.

"Violence is never the answer or acceptable in any circumstances," he tweeted.

In recent years, secular writers have been targeted in Bangladesh. Attacks on secular writers, bloggers and publisher have left five dead in this year, including Dipan. The motive of the attacks is believed to have been about religious militancy.

At least 15 members of an al Qaeda inspired group Ansarullah Bangla Team, including a Biritish citizen, have been arrested since August after blogger Niloy Chatterjee was hacked to death at home by a group of attackers armed with machetes.

TRTWorld and agencies