DHAKA: Bloggar Niloy Chatterjee was murdered in his bedroom in Dhaka on Friday noon. His killing is fourth and fifth victim respectively in this year and since 2013 of extremist attacks.
According to media reports, he wrote in a blog against religion based extremism.
Already Ansarullah Bangla Team, a local chapter of Al-Qadea has claimed the responsibility of Niloy Neel, pen name of Niloy Chatterjee, killing by sending email to the media houses though it has not been confirmed yet.
The frequent murder of bloggers is not only tarnishing the image of the incumbant government but also the country's image.
Once, Bangladesh was known as a natural disaster-prone nation belonging to the list of so-called third world countries. But the continuous economic growth and capabilities to fight natural disaster are circulating a good impression to the world about Bangladesh.
The country also is being seen as the practical example of ensuring women rights in the global arena. But every success is going to under the shed of such barbaric killings. The world is now labeling Bangladesh as a country of extremism.
The latest killing has taken Bangladesh in international media with a negative image. Every international media house has published the news of blogger killings with due importance. In earlier, the murder of blogger Avijit Roy got attention of global media extensively.
Within a short time after my arrival at South Asian University in New Delhi earlier in this month I got chance to meet the students of other SAARC countries and knew their perception and imagination about my country.
Some of my friends raised the issue of blogger killing in the first meeting. Binit Gurung from Nepal, Bhargav and Debtonu of India expressed that they are devastated by the killing of Avijit Roy, an American-Bangladeshi blogger who was killed on Dhaka University campus in a night of February this year.
Possibly like them citizens of other south Asian countries were again shocked by the latest killing of Niloy. Binit commented that the killings of bloggers signify the emerging Islamic extremism in Bangladesh.
I have tried to convince them that we are constitutionally a secular country and our current government is trying its best to maintain secularism. But the recurrence of blogger killings is bringing question about the zero-tolerance stance to fundamentalism of the present government.
If the government really wants to uproot Islamic fundamentalism it should take multi-faceted plan and action. It seems that our law enforcement forces are not capable to deal with the Islamic militant.
Frequency of these barbaric killings showed the failure of our intelligence agencies.
BBC's Bangladesh chapter reported that Niloy filed a police report expressing fear for his life but his compliant had not been followed up.
To counter Islamic fundamentalism, government to take stern measures including campaign against extremism with the help of prominent Islamic scholars from home and abroad.
All the Islamic political parties should stand against the brutality in the name of Islam, as Islam does not permit it. These killing are also bringing negative impression in and out of country for them.
Liberalism should be prevailed in Bangladesh. Everybody has the right to express their opinion and views. But it should not be to harm the emotion and believes of others.
The bloggers should write showing respect to Islam. They should not cross the border of modesty and decency in the name of free thinking. Government should not tolerate the inciting writings of the bloggers. If someone's writing criticize Islam in derogatory manner, it should be protested peacefully, not with machete. Agitated persons or groups can also go to the court to sue.
If we fail to prevent further blogger killing in future, possibly the fear of my SAU friends will come true and Bangladesh will be treated as we treat few Asian Muslim countries.
Already the United States of America, the United Kingdom and also the United Nation expressed their grave concern on the killing of bloggers. If their expression of concern continues they will also not hesitate to label Bangladesh as a country of extremism.
The writer is pursuing his Masters in Art in International Relations at South Asian University, New Delhi. email:[email protected]
BDST: 2054 HRS, AUG 08, 2015