Bangladesh captures ‘prime suspect’ in writer's murder

2015-03-02 20:07

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Dhaka - Police on Monday detained an Islamist in connection with the murder last week of Bangladeshi-born US writer and blogger Abhijit Roy.

Shafiur Rahman Farabi, aged 28, was detained in Dhaka's Jatrabari neighbourhood four days after unidentified assailants hacked Roy to death in the centre of the Bangladeshi capital.

Farabi is the prime suspect in the murder, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesperson for the Rapid Action Battalion. Farabi had threatened on his Facebook account to kill Roy, he said.

"The suspect will now face custodial interrogation," Khan said.

Farabi, who promotes jihad against atheists through social media, was earlier arrested in 2013 in connection with murder of atheist blogger Rajib Hyder.

He was later released on bail.

Roy, 46, was hacked to death on Thursday by unidentified assailants while returning home from a book fair in Dhaka. His wife was injured in the attack.

Roy was the founder of a well-known blog called Mukto Mona (Open Mind), and wrote on topics including science, society and philosophy in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

He had authored a number of controversial books including Samakamita (Homosexuality) and Obiswasher Darson (Philosophy of Atheists).

"Roy became target of the fundamentalists groups when his books ... hit the stands a few years ago," his publisher Ahmed Rashid Tutul said.

Bangladesh on Sunday accepted a US offer to let the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) help investigate the murder of the secular writer.

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