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‘You’ll be next’: Bangladeshi blogger gets death threat on Facebook

Styx

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KOLKATA: He will be 'The Next', Ananya Azad was warned on a social networking site. A day after 'The Guardian' broke the story of how the 25-year-old Bangladeshi blogger was living a life of fear, Ananya spoke exclusively to TOI on Friday.

Speaking from Dhaka, Ananya — who is on a hit list containing the names of 84 atheist bloggers — said: "I am no stranger to death threats and bloodshed. My father, author Humayun Azad, was attacked on the streets. But what shocked me was the nature of threat that I got on Facebook. It addressed my father as 'Nastiker sardar'. It means the leader of atheists. It said being his son, I would meet a gruesome death. My throat would be slashed at Dhaka University's Raju Bhaskarjya! I feel lodging a police complaint is pointless. Eleven years have passed and the cops haven't been able to do anything about my father's assassins."

Today, Ananya wears a helmet even while walking the streets of Dhaka and moves around in a car with tinted glasses. Leaving Bangladesh is something he is considering after the threat. "Perhaps I need to rethink now. I've stopped writing my blog. I had begun writing a book that's halfway through. Next week, I am planning to go to India."

Understandably so, Ananya is cagey about divulging his travel plans abroad because of security reasons.

But Ananya is not the only blogger suffering. TOI traced another blogger who is now in hiding in Dhaka. On May 12, a gang of masked assailants had chopped blogger Ananta Bijay Das. Ever since Ananta's death, his fellow blogger Monir Hussain has gone into hiding.

Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin, who is now in New York, is trying to help him move out of his country. Monir has stopped writing his blogs. Speaking from an undisclosed location in Dhaka, he said: "For 15 days, I have been locked in a room. No television. No newspapers. I've deactivated my Facebook profile."

Taslima said: "I'm trying to help these bloggers get out of Bangladesh. I am requesting organizations in America and Europe to invite these bloggers to their countries. I have requested the Swedish embassy to grant visa to Monir. Bloggers in Bangladesh are panic-striken. The government isn't giving them any protection."

Monir has heard about Ananya's threat. "Ananta, I and four others had set up the Bigyan O Juktibadi Council since 2005. We also run the Jukti Patrika in Bangladesh. Threats have been coming for the past eight months. On the day Ananta died, I got a call around 9.20 am saying: 'Are you still sleeping? Ananta is lying in the hospital bed. Run...' Three minutes later, I got the same call again. I was numb. I rushed to the hospital to find Ananta dead," the 31-year-old Monir said.

The next day, Monir lost his job of a Bengali lecturer in a private college. "One day, I got a call from an unknown international number and was played a recording from the Holy Quran. I left my rented house in Sylhet to Dhaka. My neighbours later told me that two bikers, their faces covered with helmets, had repeatedly come looking for me. Today, I can't sleep without taking pills. I can almost hear Ananta say — 'they will kill anyone they can lay their hands on. That's how they want to make a name for the organization (Ansarullah Bangla Team)'," he added. Monir, like Ananya, doesn't want to inform the cops. "We believe cops leak most of the information to these extremists," Monir said.

However, Bangladeshi film-maker Shahriar Kabir says, "Seeking asylum in another country won't help. One has to ban Jamaat e Islami. There have been 13 attempts on my life. Yet, I haven't left Bangladesh. I carry a gun and don't move out of my house alone."

*On February 15, 2013, Ahmed Rajib Haidar, an architect by profession and an activist in the Shahbagh Ganajagaran Mancha movement, was stabbed to death in Dhaka

*On February 26, 2015, Bangladesh-born US citizen Avijit Roy was hacked to death on the streets for his blogs

*On March 30, 2015, blogger Oyasiqur Rahman was killed

‘You’ll be next’: Bangladeshi blogger gets death threat on Facebook - The Times of India
 

Khalid Newazi

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Yes, Bangladesh is a progressive society. India should learn from it, instead of burning its minorities by the thousandth.

Foreign media concerned about 50 cent bloggers well-being whereas our government is murdering top level opposition leaders in secret, that doesn't concern them. They should pipe-down and cover their own country's news.
 

Styx

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Yes, Bangladesh is a progressive society. India should learn from it, instead of burning its minorities by the thousandth.

Foreign media concerned about 50 cent bloggers well-being whereas our government is murdering top level opposition leaders in secret, that doesn't concern them. They should pipe-down and cover their own country's news.
RAW and our girl Hasina will wipe out these jamaatis completely.
 

MandarK

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BD by nature is an intolerant society. They have killed/converted almost all of their minority and now they are on rampant to kill anyone and everyone who speaks anything against these hardcore islamists.

May these poor people get some support from the government.
 

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