The witness, who declined to be identified for security reasons, told bdnews24.com that there were three attackers.
Around 2:30pm on Saturday, several men barged into the office of Tutul’s publishing house ‘Shuddhaswar’ at Lalmatia and left after hacking him.
They had locked the room from the outside.
“‘We’re here to kill Tutul’, the attackers said after entering the room,” the witness said. He was locked in the room with several others.
Police rescued Tutul, blogger Atik Rahim and writer Ranadipam Basu and sent them to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Around 3:15pm, Basu wrote about the attack on his Facebook profile.
The witness said the attackers had held him and several others hostage at gunpoint and took them to a separate room.
He recounted that one of the attackers first knocked the door saying he had come to purchase a book.
“Once he entered, he said there was someone else also with him. Two others entered as the door was opened.
“The man who entered the room first was carrying a black bag. He took out machetes from it and confined us to another room.
“They left after locking us from the outside. A gunfire was heard when they were leaving.”
Neither the motive behind the attack nor identities of the attackers were immediately clear.
Police said they were investigating the incident.
Suddhaswar has published several books written by secular writer Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death in February on the Dhaka University campus.
Investigators said they suspected militants were behind the attack on Roy and his wife.
Tutul had lodged a general diary with Mohammadpur police saying he had been threatened to death after his friend Roy’s killing.
An employee of a tailoring shop in front of Suddhaswar’s offices told bdnews24.com that he had first heard screams and then saw three men fleeing on a motorcycle.
Tutul’s friend Samakal’s Executive Editor Mustafiz Shafi said he had received a call from Tutul’s number around 2:30pm.
“His employee ‘Rasel’ told me, ‘please save us. They hacked and locked us in the room’,” he said, adding that he had contacted police after that.
DMCH doctors have operated on Tutul.
Tarek Rahim and Randipam Basu are also undergoing treatment there.