Dhaka, Bangladesh
Family longs for justice

Family longs for justice

Our Correspondent SYLHET, May 26: Blogger and science writer Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death in broad daylight in Sylhet by a group of masked assailants this day in 2015. Four years after the murder, family members and friends are still awaiting justice. So far, trial proceedings of the case have started through recording testimony of Ananta's brother Ratneshwar Das, the complainant, on May 7 this year. Sylhet Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Muminun Nessa recorded his testimony, said Masuk Ahmed, additional public prosecutor. He said only one accused, Abul Khayer Rashid Ahmed, was present. Among the five accused, Shafiur Rahman Farabi is in Kashimpur jail while Abul Hossain, Harunur Rashid and Faisal Ahmed are absconding. The court set June 9 for next hearing and there are 29 witnesses in the case, the APP said. Contacted, Ananta's brother-in-law advocate Samar Bijoy Shee said Ananta's mother's physical condition has deteriorated over the years. She stays mostly bedridden and does not talk much. "We want justice and hope that it will be served soon," he said. Ananta, a banker by profession, was also editor of local science magazine "Jukti" (logic). He was attacked in Subidbazar area near his residence, on his way to work. Banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team claimed responsibility online for the murder. Ratneshwar filed the murder case, accusing unidentified persons. Later, the case was transferred to CID. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police arrested Mannan Yahya alias Mannan Rahi and his brother Abul Khayer on August 28, 2015. Both were university students in Sylhet. Mannan later confessed that five people took part in the murder. Two, including him, hacked Ananta to death while three others were on guard. On May 9, 2017, CID pressed a revised charge sheet against six persons. Mannan died in Kashimpur jail on November 2, 2017 due to illness. Ananta, an advocate for secularism and science, became the third victim in a spate of attacks against free-thinkers by militant groups in 2015, following science writer Avijit Roy and Oyasiqur Rahman. Today, marking Ananta's death anniversary, his friends and well-wishers are organising a programme at his memorial. The monument, "Gyaner Jyoti Chorabe Ananta, Anantakal" (Ananta will radiate the light of knowledge for eternity), was unveiled on May 12, 2016, at the same spot where Ananta was murdered.

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