‘It’s good that you are gone, Dada. Humans must not live in a devil’s world. My respects, Dada. And also a brother’s love’
‘We salute you, Ananta Bijoy’
‘Our respects, Dada’
Even a few hours before his death, Ananta Bijoy Das had sharply criticised the failure of police in arresting the killers of fellow bloggers Avijit Roy and others.
He had also used his acerbic style to lash out at an MP from Sylhet who had threatened to “publicly whip” his university teacher Muhammad Zafar Iqbal.
Das was hacked to death while he was on his way to the city on a rickshaw from Sylhet’s Bankalaparha in Subidbazar.
As late as Monday, Das was critical in a post of the police for not arresting the killers of Roy and Oyashiqur Rahman.
“Police were having fun nearby when Avijit Roy was murdered. The killers walked away unhindered after committing the crime.
“Police later denied any dereliction of duty. One is keen to know what their duties are!” he wrote on Facebook.
“Police had also stood as mere spectators when the killers were fleeing after murdering Oyasiqur Rahman Babu. But it was the police’s bad luck in this case that they could not deny negligence of responsibility.
“For, a brave-hearted third gender, Labanya, managed to catch the killers and send them to jail.”
Das, a former student of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, was a regular contributor to Mukto-mona blog site run by Roy before he was murdered.
Blogger Oyasiqur Rahman was killed in Tejgaon within a month and a half of Roy’s murder.
Das was killed in the same manner as the former two.
He had also criticised the police baton-charge on students protesting against the sexual harassment of women on the Dhaka University campus during the Bengali New Year celebrations.
Besides writing for Mukto-mona (free thinker), he also contributed anti-communal and rationalist articles to bdnews24.com.
In 2006, he won the Mukto-mona Rationalist Award.
He was the editor of ‘Jukti’ (logic), a science magazine published from Sylhet.
Das had also authored three books on science and revolution in the Soviet Union, elementary evolution, and the relevance of Charles Darwin in the 21st century.
Among his important pieces in Mukto-mona was one on Jamaat-e-Islami politics, debating whether there was a case for its banning.
Das, who used to work at a private bank, directed his last post at Mahmud Samad Chowdhury, the Sylhet-3 MP.
The MP had threatened to whip Prof Zafar Iqbal, who teaches at the Shahjalal Science and Technology University.
The media reported on May 9 that Chowdhury had described Iqbal as a ‘Sylhet-baiter’ and said he would have had him publicly flogged only if he had the power.
Angry over the Awami League MP’s remark, Das had written in his post that those who were not even a distant match for the teacher’s erudition had the temerity to say he should be flogged.
He also commented on the controversial role of the MP’s father during the Liberation War.
After his killing, many expressed their sorrow on the Facebook.
“About 30 hours back I was sharing your status. I had not imagined that it would be your last,” wrote one.
Another said: “I am truly stunned. We had to even lose you. We are ashamed.”
And, in a touching farewell, said another: “Dada, it is good that you are gone. Humans should not live in this devil’s world.”