Slain Bangladeshi online activist ‘went into hiding’

Dhaka, April 9 (IANS) Slain online Bangladeshi activist Nazimuddin Samad went into hiding at for some days after getting death threats for writing against religious extremism.

His friends said Nazim, 27, went into hiding at Bianibazar in Sylhet for some days before he was killed on Wednesday night at the capital’s Sutrapur while he was on his way home from evening classes at the Jagannath University, bdnews24 reported on Saturday.

Last year, suspected militants hacked to death four atheist bloggers and one secular publisher in a series of targeted killings in the Muslim-majority country.

He had also deactivated his Facebook account for some 15 days.

Communist Party of Bangladesh’s Sylhet unit leader Golam Rabbi Chowdhury went to school with Nazim until the completion of their higher secondary education.

“He (Nazim) was always vocal against religious fanaticism. He was also involved in progressive movements,” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury said the Nazim had told him in February that he had deactivated his Facebook account “under pressure”.

Nazim was one of the organisers of Ganajagaran Mancha in Sylhet. The platform was formed in 2013 to press for the demand of war criminals’ death penalty.

Hasan Shahriar, another organiser of the platform in Sylhet, said Nazim had told him he had received death threats through his mobile phone and Facebook inbox.

Shahriar said Nazim “was somewhat intimidated” and went into hiding at his ancestral home in Sylhet’s Bianibazar for some days after the attacks on publishers that left one killed last October.

He returned to Dhaka after around 20 days when the “situation had returned to normal”, Shahriar added.

An Al Qaeda linked group reportedly claimed the killing of Nazim for his “anti-Islam views”.

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