April 23, 2016

Bangladesh: Islamist Thugs kill again - English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58 hacked to death in Rajshahi

The Daily Star, April 23, 2016 

Teachers, students protest RU teacher’s murder

Star Online Report
Teachers and students at Rajshahi University have been staging demonstration on the campus, protesting the murder of professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee.
Rajshahi University Teachers Association (Ruta) has boycotted classes since noon today, its secretary Prof Shah Azam Shantanu declared at a rally held protesting the murder.
The teachers will continue their boycott programme till tomorrow. They will also hold a mourning rally tomorrow morning, reports our RU correspondent.
In the morning, miscreants killed Siddiquee, a professor of English department of the university, in Shalbagan area of the city.
READ MORE: Double murder in Rajshahi hotel room
As the news spread, over 200 students from different departments blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway in front of RU main entrance for half an hour protesting the killings of Siddiquee and their fellow student Mizanur Rahman whose body was found at a Rajshahi hotel yesterday.
Traffic movement remained suspended for half an hour from 10:15am following the blockade.
Rajshahi University Teachers Association (Ruta) boycot classes protesting the murder of AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, a professor of English department of the university. Photo: STAR
Addressing at a short rally, the students demanded immediate arrest of the killers. Later, they also brought out a protest procession that paraded through different streets of the campus.
READ MORE: Lalon-loving RU teacher killed
Later, around 500 students of English department brought out another procession on campus protesting the murder of their teacher.
RU Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Mizanuddin and Pro-VC Prof Chowdhruy Sarwar Jahan expressed deep concern over the killing and also demanded proper investigation into the killing.
Meanwhile, Chhatra Union, Chhatra Federation, Chhatra Front and Biplobi Chhatra Moitree of Rajshahi University unit, University Teachers Association and Rajshahi University Association of Law Finders (RUALF) condemned the brutal killing and demanded to bring the killers to book immediately.
The law enforcers have yet to identify any of the killers. They could not say anything immediately about the motive of the murder.

o o o

The Times of India

Bangladesh professor hacked to death in suspected Islamist attack
AFP | Apr 23, 2016

DHAKA: Unidentified attackers hacked to death a university professor in Bangladesh on Saturday, police said, adding that the assault bore the hallmarks of previous killings by Islamist militants of secular and atheist activists.

Police said English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, was hacked from behind with machetes as he walked to the bus station from his home in the country's northwestern city of Rajshahi, where he taught at the city's public university.

"His neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 percent slit. By examining the nature of the attack, we suspect that it was carried out by extremist groups," Rajshahi metropolitan police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin said.

Shamsuddin said police had not yet named any suspects but added that the pattern of the attack fitted with previous killings by Islamist militants.

Nahidul Islam, a deputy commissioner of police, said Siddique was involved in cultural programmes, including music, and set up a school at Bagmara, a former bastion of an outlawed Islamist group, Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

"The attack is similar to the ones carried out on (atheist) bloggers in the recent past," Islam said.

Homegrown Islamist militants have been blamed for a number of murders of secular bloggers since 2013, the most recent being in the capital Dhaka early this month.

Police said that in each of the attacks unidentified assailants hacked the victim to death with machetes or cleavers.

Eight members of banned Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team, including a top cleric who is said to have founded the group, were convicted late last year for the murder of atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider in February 2013.

The recent killings have sparked outrage at home and abroad, with international rights groups demanding that the secular government protect freedom of speech in the Muslim-majority country.

Ansar al-Islam, a Bangladesh branch of al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent, this month claimed responsibility for the murder of 26-year-old Nazimuddin Samad, a law student who was killed on the streets of Dhaka, according to US monitoring group SITE.

Bangladesh authorities have consistently denied that international Islamist networks such as al-Qaida or the Islamic State group, which recently claimed responsibility for the murders of minorities and foreigners, are active in the country.