University professor killed in Bangladesh ((Lead)

Dhaka, April 23 (IANS) Bangladeshi police suspect the involvement of Islamist radicals in the murder of a university teacher who was hacked to death on Saturday morning.

Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, who taught English at the Rajshahi University, was attacked by two unidentified motorcyclists near his residence, quoted police as saying.

“Professor Rezaul (Siddiquee) has been killed in the same way that the bloggers and online activists were slain. That leads to the suspicion that this might be the handiwork of radicals,” Rajshahi police chief Shamsudduin said.

The police said Siddiquee was attacked while he was on his way to catch a bus for the university campus.

Siddiquee used to write and was involved with several cultural organisations.

No one, including his family members, were aware of threats that the English professor may have received recently.

The motive behind his murder was yet to be ascertained.

The recent killings of bloggers and online activists as well as foreigners were pulled off in a similar manner – using sharp weapons and targeting the head or neck.

Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed the killings of the two foreigners – Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella in Dhaka and Japanese national Kunio Hoshi in the northern district of Rangpur.

Al-Qaeda militant group in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has reportedly claimed the murder of bloggers.

Security officials, however, said local Islamist radicals were behind the murders and that messages from IS and AQIS were to cover the trial and confuse investigations.

Two years ago, another Rajshahi University teacher Shafiul Islam was similarly murdered.

Though his murder was claimed by Islamist radicals police later ruled it out saying it was related to a personal rivalry.

There have also been attacks on members of religious minorities including Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Hindus.



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