Police identified the victim of the attack as Nazimuddin Samad, 27, a student of the evening session of law department.
Samad, hailing from Sylhet, described himself as the information and research affairs secretary of Bangabandhu Jatiya Juba Parishad in the district in his Facebook profile.
His friends said he was an organiser of Ganajagaran Mancha in Sylhet.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Senior Assistant Commissioner Nurul Amin said Samad came under the attack at Ekrampur intersection around 9pm on Wednesday.
His friends wrote on his Facebook wall that the assailants shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ just before launching the deadly assault.
Police are yet to confirm whether radicals were behind the murder like those of the bloggers and online activists last year.
Samad wrote against religious extremism on his Facebook wall.
In the section for religious view in his profile, he wrote, “I have no religion.”
He also wrote a post in protest against the recent ‘rape’ and murder of Comilla college student Sohagi Jahan Tonu.
Samad, a supporter of Awami League, did not spare the ruling party.
About the party’s affiliate Awami Olama League, he wrote, “Awami Olama League and Bangabandhu’s non-communal Bangladesh stay at two poles. Olama League never wanted the secular Constitution of ’72 and it will never do so.”
On Tuesday, he shared a video of a Maulana’s anti-women liberation waaz (lecture) and criticised the views of the Maulana.
Before his admission to Jagannath University’s LLM course, he graduated from Leading University in Sylhet.