Bangladesh blogger killings: Kolkata residents demand justice

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Kolkata, May 19: Around 500 Kolkata residents, including bloggers and authors, have urged neighbouring Bangladesh to ensure protection of right to freedom of expression following the brutal killing of three of its bloggers in three months.

"We demand exemplary punishment to the killers and adequate protection to those who are exercising their rights to freedom of expression, be it a blogger, author or anybody," city-based blogger Arindam Chatterjee told IANS on Tuesday.

murder

Led by Chatterjee, city-based bloggers and authors submitted a deputation at the Bangladesh High Commission here on Monday.

He said the memorandum includes condolence messages for the family and friends of the victims. The signatories include people from all walks of society, Chatterjee said.

Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death on May 12 in north-eastern Bangladesh in the third such deadly attack this year on bloggers.

He was attacked by a masked gang wielding machetes in the city of Sylhet.

He was an activist of the 'Ganajagaran Mancha', the forum demanding a ban on Islamist parties and death penalty for convicted war criminals.

He used to blog on 'Mukto Mona', a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism, that was started by late blogger Avijit Roy, who was also hacked to death near Dhaka University in February.

In March, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in Dhaka.

Earlier this month, the Al Qaeda's Indian offshoot claimed responsibility for the killings of the bloggers in Bangladesh and dubbed them "blasphemers".

Chatterjee said they have also written a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina demanding action against the perpetrators.

"We are hopeful that the government will take strong steps. All across the globe people are demanding justice and we also want the same," he said.

IANS

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