Publisher slain in Bangladesh hours after 3 others stabbed in latest attacks on secular voices
A publisher of secular books was stabbed to death in his office Saturday, the fifth victim to die in a series of knife attacks here this year on writers and publishers of material that raises questions about Muslim radicalism.
The killing of Faisal Arefin Dipon, head of Jagritee publishing house, which had published a book by slain blogger Avijit Roy, came hours after another of Roy’s publishers was attacked. Roy, a Bangladeshi-born U.S. citizen, was hacked to death with machetes outside a book fair in the Bangladeshi capital in February.
Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, 43, was in critical condition Saturday at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, authorities said, after a group of men stormed into his office and pointed a gun at him before stabbing him and two bloggers in the head. The writers, Ranadeep Basu, 50, and Tareque Rahim, 30, were also hospitalized.
Roy, who was visiting from his Atlanta home when he was killed, was a friend of Tutul, who headed the publishing house Shudhdhoswar. Tutul had filed a complaint with police after being threatened on Facebook following Roy’s slaying.
Two other secular writers, Wasiqur Rahman Babu and Ananta Bijoy Das, were killed in separate attacks this year.
Authorities have blamed the attacks instead on domestic militants and Islamist political parties loyal to opponents of Prime Minister Sheik Hasina.
Dipon, the son of a Dhaka University professor, was killed Saturday evening in his second-floor office at the Aziz Supermarket. His father, Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque, told journalists that he believed opponents of those promoting free speech were behind Saturday’s attacks.
A co-worker, who could not reach Dipon on a cellphone, broke open the locked office door after he got no response when he knocked.
Dipon, a father of two, was found lying in a pool of blood, with deep cuts on his neck and upper shoulder. He was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Kader is a special correspondent. Staff writer Bengali reported from Mumbai, India.
For more news from South Asia, follow @SBengali on Twitter.
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.