Slain blogger Niloy Neel said on Facebook police advised him to flee Bangladesh when he sought security

A three-month-old Facebook post by blogger Niladri Chatterjee Niloy, hacked to death in his Dhaka home on Friday, said that the man knew he was a target.

Published : 7 August 2015, 02:56 PM
Updated : 8 August 2015, 10:58 AM

He wanted to file a general diary (GD) but the police ‘advised him to leave the country as early as possible’ instead, said the post from May 15. 

Assailants, posing as prospective tenants, entered his home at North Gorhan after Juma prayers.

Police said they used machetes to hack Niloy haphazardly on his throat and neck in a chilling similarity of attack carried out by Islamists in previous killings of writers and bloggers.

Niloy, a Ganajagaran Mancha activist who also worked at an NGO, is the fourth Bangladesh blogger to have been brutally murdered this year.  

“I was being followed by two young men day before yesterday,” wrote Niloy, recalling the ride back from a protest held in Dhaka against the murder of another online blogger, Ananta Bijoy Das.

“I first got on a public bus. They were on the same bus when I reached a certain destination.”

“I then got into a Leguna (a human-hauler). One among them got in with me.”

Things were pretty normal until I saw the man write one SMS after another on his mobile phone. I got suspicious. I got off before my stop and he followed me.”

Niloy wrote that he entered an unknown alley out of fear. “When I looked back, I saw that the person from the bus was with the one who was in the Leguna with me.”

“They were no longer following me, but standing at the front of the alley.

“It was clear that I was being followed, because the two men met at the same destination but took two different ways.”        

Niloy said he took a rickshaw, drawing the hood over his face. He went to a friend who helped him to get to safety.

Fundamentalist blogger and activist Farabi Shafiur Rahman, later arrested for the killing of blogger Avijit Roy in March, had mentioned Niloy in one of his writings that usually contain death threats for writers and journalists.

Niloy Neel was his user name for social networking sites. His blogs on website ‘Istishon’ (Station) are against communalism and fundamentalism.

He had been receiving numerous threats for his stance against radicalism, said the people close to him. These led him to remove all his photos and use Kolkata as his current city in Facebook.

No help

“I had more bizarre experiences when I went to the police for a general diary,” Niloy had written.

He said a police officer personally told him that police usually avoid taking these complaints because the official who will accept the GD will be accountable for ensuring the person’s safety.

“If something happens to the person, the official may lose his job for neglecting his duty… I was told.”

The post, however, does not say where Niloy was being followed in May.

The blogger wrote he crossed an array of police stations while being followed. He finally went to the police station, which had the jurisdiction of the area in question, but was turned away.               

“They didn’t take the GD. They said ‘It’s not within our purview. Contact that police station that has the jurisdiction and leave the country as soon as possible’.”