A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against eight members of banned militant outfit Ansar Al Islam, including sacked Maj Zia ul Haque, in a case filed over the murder of publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan in 2015.
Six of the accused, now in jail, pleaded not guilty after Judge Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal read out the charges.
The six are alleged killing squad leader Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir, 24; alleged trainer Abdus Sabur alias Samad, 23; and suspected ABT operatives Khairul Islam alias Fahim, 24, Sheikh Abdullah, 27, Abu Siddiq Sohel, 34, and Mozammel Hossain alias Simon, 25.
The court also issued arrest warrants for fugitives -- Maj Zia and Akram Hossain.
The tribunal fixed November 18 for starting the trial.
Dipan, 43, publisher of Jagriti Prokashani, was stabbed to death at his office in Shahbagh on October 31, 2015.
Later, his wife filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing unknown persons.
Dipan was stabbed twice in the head and once in the neck with a machete, according to the autopsy report.
Just hours before the attack, publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul and his friends -- bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareque Rahim -- were injured in a machete attack at Tutul’s publishing house Shuddhoswar in Lalmatia.
Both Tutul and Dipan were publishers of writer-blogger Avijit Roy, who was stabbed to death by assailants in TSC area of Dhaka University on February 26, 2015.