Sleuths closing in on Shahjahan Bachchu killers

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Staff Reporter:

Investigators probing the murder of freethinking writer, publisher Shahjahan Bachchu have claimed that there is a remarkable headway in the case.

A top official of a law enforcing agency told UNB that investigators are almost confirmed about involvement of a religious extremist group in the killing of Bachchu, who has reportedly been on the hit list of the group since 2015.

However the investigators refrained from naming the group as they are expecting to arrest the militants involved with the killing anytime soon.

Shahjahan Bachchu, 60, an outspoken proponent of secular principles and owner of a publishing house ‘Bishaka Prokashoni’, was gunned down in his ancestral village Kakaldi under Sirajdikhan police station in Munshiganj district on June 11 evening.

He had gone to meet friends at a pharmacy shop near his home before Iftar, when the four attackers riding on two motorcycles swooped on him. They blasted a crude bomb outside the pharmacy, creating panic and then dragged him out of the shop and shot him.

Victim’s second wife Afsana Jahan filed the case with Sirajdikhan Police Station accusing four unidentified people on June 12.

Although no group has claimed responsibility, law enforcing agencies are investigating the case considering it as a possible targeted attack by Islamist extremists.

Bachchu, also a former general secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh’s (CPB) Munshiganj district unit, had previously received threats from extremist groups over his writings on sensitive religious topics.

Munshiganj’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Zaidul Islam told UNB that there was major headway in the investigation into the case and the killers will be arrested shortly.

Another investigator hinted at extremists getting hostile to Bachchu over some comments made by the slain publisher that they considered tantamount to demeaning religious beliefs.

After investigation, we are almost confirmed that religious extremist groups are involved in the killing, he said wishing anonymity.

He said that the perpetrators will be arrested very soon as investigators are confirmed about the motive behind the killing.

Attacks, carried out by Islamist militants’ group came to the fore after the murder of atheist writer and blogger Avijit Roy near the Ekushey Book Fair venue in the city on February 26, 2015. Avijit’s publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was also hacked to death on October 31 the same year.  unb

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