Killers hacked Rajib first, then slit his throat: police

Blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider’s throat was slit after he was hacked to death by the attackers, police say.

Published : 16 Feb 2013, 04:21 AM
Updated : 16 Feb 2013, 05:20 AM

His body was found in front of his house at Polashnagar in Mirpur.

Rajib was one of the organisers of the Shahbagh protest that turned 12-day-old Saturday.

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir has assured Rajib’s family of swift action in nabbing his killers. The minister said the investigation was already underway.

The Detective Branch of Police would be in charge of this murder investigation, DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media) Masudur Rahman has said.

Rajib was hacked in the head, jaw and shoulder before his throat was slit, said Pallabi Police Station’s Sub-Inspector Kamal Hossain.
Police found two blood-stained machetes apparently left behind by the killers just a few feet away from Rajib’s body. Police said the laptop Rajib used was also found close to his body.
According to Pallabi police chief Abdul Latif Sheikh, police came to know about the murder around 9pm.
They rushed to the spot to find that the body was lying in a pool of blood with a Gamchha wrapped around the neck.
Protesters believe Rajib became the target of fundamentalists for his interpretations of Islam from the standpoint of a self-proclaimed atheist.
His blogging attracted threats to his life. One such post is still there in ‘Sonar Bangla’, a blog known to have been operated by pro-Jamaat-e-Islami activists.
Protesters are convinced that the Jamaat and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir assassinated Rajib.
The street where Rajib came under the attack did not have its lights on, making it difficult to identify the killers immediately, said local MP Ilias Molla.
He alleged the area was a stronghold of the Jamaat-Shibir activists.
Police has not been able to ascertain yet whether there was a witness to the murder.
The owner of a nearby tea stall Kamal Miah said two pedestrians raised an alarm about an injured man when as he was closing his shop around 9:30pm.
Kamal says he could not remember their faces.
Rajib’s father Dr Nazim Uddin filed a case early Saturday accusing some unidentified people of killing his son.
An architect by profession, Rajib lived in Palashnagar along with his brother. Their parents live in Gazipur’s Kapashia.
“I was a freedom fighter during our War of Independence. The country has been liberated ... but still not free from Razakars That’s why I had to lose my son,” said Rajib’s father Nazim.
The body was sent to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital for autopsy.
Locals in Mirpur and Kapashia took to the streets Saturday in protest against the murder.
Rajib’s second uncle Khurrom Haider was one of the first few to find the blogger’s lifeless body at the site of the killing.
“As I reached there (Palashnagar), I saw a body lying on its back. He was hacked numerous times in the head and his face was mutilated beyond recognition.”
“I stopped for a moment before leaving the place. I called Rajib’s number using my cell phone. I heard the phone ringing inside the pant’s pocket.”
“I ran to the body at once. I pulled out the cell phone and found it was my nephew Rajib’s phone.”
“I gave a close look at his face only to be assured that it was Rajib.”
According to Khurrom, a banana was found in the left pocket of the pant. Rajib rarely returned home ever since the protests at Shahbagh started.
The last time Khurrom had spoken to his nephew was at 3pm Friday. It was all about the protests.
“Rajib used to say, ‘Uncle we have launched a movement, and the youth will achieve its goal’,” said Khurram.
“He would say, ‘Uncle I am not against Islam, but against Jamaat-e-Islami’.”
Rajib and his brother studied at the Asian Pacific University and both had been living in the tin-shed Mirpur residence.
Rajib’s body will be buried in Syedpur of Targaon Sunday. A janaza will be held at Kapashia Pilot School playground before the burial.
His mother Nargis Haider is an Awami League activist. His grandfather Mofiz Uddin Master had been the President of Gazipur District Awami League until he passed away in 1989.
But Rajib and his brother always kept themselves consciously away from getting involved in party politics.
Asked whether any family feud could have lead to the killing, Khurrom said, “Never. Rajib had been an active organiser of the Shahbagh movement. That’s why Jamaat and Shibir men have killed him.”