Dhaka: A professor was hacked to death by unidentified attackers near his home in northwest Bangladesh this morning, the latest in a series of brutal attacks on intellectuals and activists in the Muslim majority country.
Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, was murdered within 50 metres of his residence in the country’s northwestern city of Rajshahi, police said.
Unidentified miscreants hacked the English professor with sharp weapons and left him to die at the Battala Crossing in Salbagan area around 7.30 AM, police officer Shahdat Hossain was quoted as saying by the Bdnews24.com. He taught English at the 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 told AFP.
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.
The motive behind the murder is not immediately known. Two years ago, another Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam was similarly murdered. Though his murder was initially claimed by Islamist radicals, police later ruled out that possibility. Police said he was murdered as a sequel to personal rivalry.
But some years ago, two more professors of the Rajshahi University had been killed. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh over the past six months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers and foreigners. Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home.