Secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das, who was known for his secular views was hacked to death by four masked men in Sylhet, Bangladesh, a few days back. The death of the blogger, who reportedly had irked religious fundamentalist groups through his independent views, has raised a question on the security and safety of independent writers, journalists and bloggers. Das wrote on secular and rational ideologies which did not go down well religious fundamentalist group.
Journalists and bloggers from across the globe have been demanding action from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The case has confirmed that freedom of speech is being threatened.
Das, 32, has become the third of three online writers, to be slashed to death in Bangladesh this year. In earlier fateful incidents, two 'secular' bloggers were hacked to death, in Bangladesh.
The country is now ranked 13th globally with at least 16 bloggers and writers killed since 1992. Earlier this year, in February, yet another blogger Avijit Roy, who ran a popular blog Mukto Mona (meaning Free Speech), was killed by a group of people identified to be from fundamentalist groups. Roy, too was mercilessly slashed on a heavily crowded street. His wife, who was with him at the time of the incident cried for help as he bled to death. People on the road, reportedly, refused to help Roy and his wife.
Editor of a scientific magazine Jukti, Das was a fearless and secular blogger who spoke his mind in the blog Mukto Mona (ran by Avijit Roy). Das and Roy were reportedly getting threat calls from the fundamentalists who had warned them of "dire consequences." In March, a similar type of attack killed blogger Washiqur Rahman Babu in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. Rahman Babu had no independent blog, and he would write against the radical groups on the Facebook updates. He used to enjoy massive support from his Facebook followers.
The killing has once again brought to fore the long-running debate on safety of bloggers who are powerless and vulnerable. The future of blogging seems to be under threat with a growing number of killings, across the globe. Some bloggers, in the past, were forced to take off their blog posts, written against a group or powerful agency or a powerful person. #Police #Terrorism