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Friday, February 3, 2023

Killers of a US Blogger Flee the Bangladeshi Court on Motorcycles

The two men were among those found guilty for the murder of blogger Avijit Roy

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BANGLADESH: Two Islamist militants who were being brought to a court hearing in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, for the murder of a US blogger critical of hardline Islam and were facing the death penalty, staged a daring motorcycle getaway.

The two men were among those found guilty of the 2015 murder of American-Bangladeshi writer and blogger Avijit Roy, who was killed with a machete while walking through the streets of Dhaka.

Prior to his murder, Roy, a prolific writer on secularism who criticised religious fanaticism in his highly read blog, received death threats. The incident left his wife with serious injuries.

Later that year, Islamist terrorists from the same organisation assassinated Roy’s publisher, Faisal Arefin Dipan, by stabbing him in his office. Several other bloggers and intellectuals were also the targets of a wave of violence.

For the murder of Roy, five members of the Islamist group received the death penalty, and for the murder of Diplan, eight were placed on death row.

Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), the organisation that carried out the murder, claimed to be motivated by al-Qaida and was outlawed by the government of Bangladesh in 2015.

Two of the death row inmates were able to escape on Sunday while travelling to a court appearance in what appeared to be a bold and well-planned attack.

As their police escort approached the Dhaka court complex, several motorbikes surrounded it.

The inmates were then taken away on the motorcycles as the officers’ eyes were temporarily rendered blind by a noxious substance that was sprayed into them.

Despite being handcuffed, the two men’s legs were not chained, as is typical for high-security prisoners, according to court witnesses.

Moinul Hasan Shamim and Abu Siddiq Sohel, the two guys who managed to flee, have not been seen since. In an effort to track down the prisoners who had fled, the government mobilised police across the country and issued a red alert at its borders. Police declared a reward of 2 million taka (£16,350) for finding the inmates.

Asaduzzaman Khan, the home minister of Bangladesh, claimed that authorities were working round-the-clock to find the guys and that a probe into how the inmates fled was ongoing.

Local TV stations aired CCTV footage that appeared to show two militants riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by an unidentified man wearing a helmet.

A second motorcycle followed behind as they manoeuvred through the complex’s congested alleyways.

Also Read: Pakistan Defeats Bangladesh by 5 Wickets and Qualifies for the Semi-final

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