Yesterday the nation helplessly saw the killing of a free-thinking publisher and critical injury of another, plus injury of two other bloggers in the city. Both were publishers of books of slain secularist writer-blogger Avijit Roy.
In response, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today tried to comfort but in reality confounded the nation by saying that these attacks were isolated incidents and such attacks also occur in other countries of the world.
No wonder why yesterday’s slain publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan’s father former Dhaka University professor and writer Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq said that he did not want justice.
Fazlul Haq expressed his frustration saying that he just wanted good senses to prevail. “Those who are doing politics in the name of secularism and those who are doing politics over state religion, both are destroying the nation. Let there be good senses among them,” he said.
And earlier today, slain blogger Avijit Roy’s wife Rafida Ahmed Banya also echoed the same sentiment that she also did not seek justice for the murders of the bloggers and publishers.
They have said this out of their frustration over the failure of the government in arresting and uprooting the network of the militant group and trivialising the militant attacks.
The minister’s claim that these were isolated incident is shadowed by the fact that earlier this year militants have killed four free-thinking bloggers. Between September and October, the militants have also killed three pirs. At the same time they have killed an Italian and a Japanese citizen in the country.
For the murders of the bloggers and free thinkers, a group called Ansar Al Islam -- identifying itself as al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent, Bangladesh Chapter, and Ansarullah Bangla Team claimed responsibilities. After yesterday’s killing of Faisal of Jagriti Prokashani in his Shahbag office and serious attack on Ahmedur Rashid Tutul of Shuddhoswar publication in his office in Lalmatia along with two bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareque Rahim, Ansar Al Islam sent message to the media.
“These secular and atheist publishers waged war against religion of Islam in every possible ways,” it said, threatening to annihilate anyone who would dare stand against Islam.
Our Home Minister has assured us that the law enforcers were ‘thoroughly’ investigating into the latest murder and attack.
We have seen what this thorough investigation can do.
The police last week arrested a few people from the city in “connection” of the murder of the Italian citizen and said that these ‘criminals’ acted under the instruction of a ‘boro bhai’—which is supposed to be some BNP leader.
These arrests or the police findings failed to achieve widespread credibility. After all, just when they were talking about this boro bhai, militants attacked a Shia community gathering for the first time in the history of country and killed one on the spot (another died after a few days).
Till now, with all its efficiency the government could put behind bars just two militants in connection of murder of one blogger Oyasiqur Rahman. These two militants were captured by the public while they were fleeing. The police deserve no credit.
Instead of serious investigation, the police and ruling party men earlier this year had given a formula to prevent further militant attacks: do not to cross the limit when you are blogging.
Back in 2004 when the dreaded Bangla bhai emerged in the media, the-then prime minister Khaleda Zia had denied his existence. And yet in the following year, the Bangla bhai’s group had launched country-wide bomb attack. It proves that the government’s denial of the militants’ presence only provides the opportunity for them to become bigger and worst.
It’s time the government should admit to itself that whatever measures it had taken or not taken to uproot militancy, is not working or working in a very limited way. The government cannot gain anything from false assurance and denial. The militants are rising and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself had long been a target of the militants. After all, remedy begins from admitting that there is a problem.