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Ananta Bijoy Das


Three people have been arrested in Bangladesh over the murders of secularist bloggers Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das.

Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das were hacked to death earlier this year.

According to police, British-Bangladeshi Touhidur Rahman planned the killings.

Touhidur Rahman, an IT expert, is said to have links with a banned militant outfit, Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).

Police say his arrest will provide evidence about a total of four killings of secular bloggers this year.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Touhidur Rahman was also the alleged financier of ABT, The Bangladesh Daily Star reported.

He and two others were detained last night in the Dhanmondi and Nilkhet areas of Dhaka.

Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government has not done enough to stop the attacks.

Last week police arrested two other suspected members of ABT over the killing of atheist blogger Niloy Neel.

Niloy Neel was hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes at his home in the capital Dhaka.

In March, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in Dhaka.

Secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das has been killed in north-eastern Bangladesh in the country’s third such deadly attack since the beginning of 2015.

Ananta Bijoy Das was attacked by a masked gang wielding machetes in the north-eastern city of Sylhet, police said.

He wrote blogs for Mukto-Mona, a website once moderated by Avijit Roy, himself hacked to death in February.Secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das killed in Bangladesh

Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-born US writer, had criticized religious intolerance.

He was killed in a machete attack while he was visiting the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, as he returned with his wife from a book fair in the city. His widow suffered head injuries and lost a thumb.

In March, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in Dhaka.

The attack on Avijit Roy prompted massive protests from students and social activists, who accused the authorities of failing to protect critics of religious bigotry.

An Islamist has been arrested over Avijit Roy’s murder, while two madrassa students have been arrested over Washiqur Rahman’s killing.