Student Activist Detained Over Murder of Liberal Bangladesh Professor

DHAKA: Bangladesh police today detained a student and an alleged activist of an Islamist organisation in connection with the murder of a liberal university professor who was brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding militants.

Hafizur Rahman was detained earlier this morning over the murder of 58-year-old Rajshahi University Professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee in Rajshahi city in northwestern Bangladesh yesterday, the latest in a series of similar attacks on intellectuals and bloggers by the dreaded group in the Muslim-majority country.

Rahman, an alleged activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir, was detained from a Shibir dominated student mess at Chhoto Bongram, Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP)  Commissioner Md Shamsuddin said.

"Hafizur is a student of the university's Public Administration department," RMP Commissioner Shamsuddin was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

Earlier today, the murder case was handed over to the Detective Branch of Police, the commissioner added.

The Professor of English literature was brutally murdered in the city's Shalbagan area yesterday in an attack that police say bears the hallmark of the previous blogger killings.

Two years ago, another Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam was similarly murdered. Though his murder was initially claimed by radical group 'Ansaral Islam', police later ruled out that possibility, saying he was murdered due to personal rivalry.

But some years ago, two more professors of the state-run varsity had been killed.

There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners.

Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home.