AQIS claims responsibility: Killings to put govt in fix – AL | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

AQIS claims responsibility: Killings to put govt in fix – AL


Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has reportedly taken responsibility for killing Bangladeshi gay-rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy.
SITE, a US-based intelligence site, published a report on Tuesday, a day after the two were hacked to death in Dhaka’s Kolabagan.
Earlier, a Twitter post by Mufti Abdullah Ashraf, spokesperson for Ansar Al Islam, AQIS’s Bangladesh unit, said their ‘mujahidins’ assassinated the two for being ‘pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh’.
“They were working day and night to promote homosexuality among the people of this land since 1998 with the help of their masters, the US crusaders and its Indian allies,” read the announcement.
It said further details will be added.An editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT-rights magazine ‘Roopbaan’, Xulhaz also worked as a programme officer for USAID.
Police said the assailants pretending to be delivery men entered his flat to hack both Mannan and Tonoy in their heads and necks, a method followed in earlier attacks on secular writers, bloggers and teachers.
Witnesses said the attackers, clad in T-shirts and jeans, fled while firing from their guns and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
They injured a security guard of from the Lake Circus building and a police officer for trying to stop them.
The murders follow the killing of Rajshahi University teacher Prof AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, also hacked to death, while he was catching a bus to the campus on Saturday. The AQIS also claimed it was behind the murder.
The first murder it claimed was that of secular author Avijit Roy, killed by machete-wielding assailants while leaving the Amar Ekushey Book Fair with his wife in February last year.
But the government has been denying that global terror groups were behind the series of killings. But it has failed to make headways into the investigations.
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam has vowed to stand firm against a spate of murders, which, he claims, aims at ‘putting the government in a fix’.
Islam, who is also the public administration minister, said this on Tuesday in the wake of the murders of a gay-rights campaigner and his theatre activist friend in Dhaka, and a Rajshahi University teacher.
Quoting the Prime Minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, he said, “Such incidents are happening to put the government in a fix.”
“Especially, bloggers and cultural activists are being hit,” the Awami League leader said.
“The government will not take it lightly… No one will be spared,” he added.
USAID official Xulhaz Mannan, who edited the country’s first LGBT magazine, was murdered at his flat in Dhaka along with his friend Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy on Monday.
Mannan is a cousin of Awami League leader and former foreign minister Dipu Moni.
On Saturday, Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee was hacked to death near his house.
Siddiquee, an English department teacher, used to write and was part of several cultural organisations.
Earlier in April, Jagannath University student and online activist Nazimuddin Samad was killed in a similar way in Dhaka.
Last year, people of different religious persuasions such as Shias, Ahmadiyyas and Christians were attacked along with bloggers, publishers, and online activists.
Radical groups Islamic State or al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claimed responsibility, but police and the government have been dismissing such claims, saying no international group operated in Bangladesh.
The BNP alleges the ‘government’s failure’ has created an ‘insecure atmosphere’ in Bangladesh.
In reaction to BNP’s allegation, Awami League General Secretary Islam said in a media conference, “BNP is not in power now. It has a lot of time, but it doesn’t spend it in politics.”
Reporters questioned Islam about his party’s ties with the Olama League, which is allegedly instigating militants.
He said Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul Alam Hanif had already made it clear that the Olama League was not an Awami League affiliate.
“It’s their (Olama League) own issue if they make arrogant remarks,” Islam said, adding that ‘many’ were using the Awami League’s name now.
About irregularities and violence in the ongoing union council election, the former local government minister said they were not quite as severe to be a ‘challenge to or concern’ for the nation.
“People will forget them after the election,” he said, claiming the election to the lowest tier of the local government was ‘more peaceful than before’. – Agencies


Comments are closed.