Bangladesh professor hacked to death by ISIS

DHAKA: An English profes­sor on way to his university in northwestern Bangladesh was on Saturday hacked to death by ISIS militants near his home, the lat­est in a series of brutal attacks on bloggers, intellectuals and activ­ists by the dreaded group in the Muslim-majority country.

Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, was attacked by motorbike-borne assailants within 50 metres of his residence in Rajshahi city as the militants slit his throat using sharp weapons and left him to die, police said.

“The miscreants attacked him from behind with machetes as he walked to the university campus from his home around 7.30 AM,” local police station in-charge Shah­dat Hossain told PTI over phone.

He said the Professor of Eng­lish literature died instantly and the assailants fled the scene after his death.

Eyewitnesses said Siddiquee’s body was found lying face down in a pool of blood, and a local media report quoted one of them as say­ing that she saw two persons leav­ing on a motorbike from the spot.

US-based private SITE Intel­ligence Group said the Islamic State has claimed the killing.

“ISIS’ Amaq Agency reported the group’s responsibility for kill­ing Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim for “calling to athe­ism” in Bangladesh,” it said in a tweet. Earlier, Rajshahi’s police commissioner Mohammad Sham­suddin told reporters at the scene that the “technique of the murder suggested it could be an act of Is­lamist terrorists.”

The professor’s neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 per cent slit, he said, adding that the nature of the at­tack shows it was carried out by extremist groups. An investiga­tion into the killing is on.

Meanwhile, angry students and teachers of the university ral­lied in the campus demanding im­mediate arrest of culprits.

Siddiquee’s colleagues said he was involved in cultural ac­tivities in the campus and used to play flute and sitar.

“He was not known for affilia­tion for any political party… He had a progressive outlook that might have earned him the wrath of reac­tionary (Islamist) forces,” professor of mass communication depart­ment of the university Dulal Chan­dra Biswas told PTI over phone.

Biswas said he believed the Islamists murdered Siddiquee to prove their existence in view of a massive anti-militant security clampdown in the region.

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