Bangladesh police arrested an Islamist student yesterday over the hacking to death of a professor one day earlier, the latest such killing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
Attackers wielding machetes almost beheaded English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique on Saturday in the northwestern city of Rajshahi, following a string of similar killings of secular activists by Islamist militants.
The 58-year-old was murdered as he walked to the bus station from his home.
The student from Rajshahi University where Siddique taught was arrested early yesterday for questioning, although the hunt was still on for other suspects, said the city’s deputy police commissioner Nahidul Islam.
He said the unidentified student of public administration is a member of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist opposition party the
“We have detained a 21-year-old Rajshahi University student who is a Shibir member as a suspect over the murder,” Islam said, without detailing his
alleged role in the attack.
Siddique was the fourth professor from Rajshahi University to be killed by suspected Islamists in recent years.
Five secular bloggers and a publisher have also been murdered, as well as members of minority groups and foreigners, as Bangladesh reels from rising Islamist violence.
Police said that in each of the attacks on the bloggers and online activists, attackers hacked the victim to death with
machetes or cleavers.
Bangladesh’s counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam yesterday rejected the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the latest killing, telling reporters that “in reality, the IS does not exist in Bangladesh”.
Other senior police officers made similar statements, echoing the government’s stance that the attacks were carried out by homegrown militants.
“In the past they (IS) issued similar statements on their websites, but we have never found their presence here,” Rajshahi police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin said.
Siddique’s wife has said her husband had never spoken out against religion, but police suspect he may have been targeted because he was seen as a free-thinker.
Siddique set up a music school, edited a literary magazine and ran a cultural group that performed music — activities likely to have angered hardline Islamists.
The student group Shibir has a stronghold at Rajshahi University. But thousands of its activists have been detained nationwide in recent years after staging protests against the trials and executions of Jamaat leaders for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 battle for independence from Pakistan.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
20 dead, 300,000 stranded in flood-hit Bangladesh region
Factory owner arrested over fire that killed 52
Bangladesh factory owner held after 52 die in fire
Bangladesh factory blaze claims 52 lives
Three killed, 30 injured in Bangladesh factory fire
Thousands flock to see dwarf cow in Bangladesh
Elephants led to safety after Bangladesh beach ordeal
'Alarming' virus surge prompts new Bangladesh lockdown
Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka nearly out of Covid vaccines