Seconds after the brutal attack on Avijit Roy on the Dhaka University campus not far from a full-fledged police station at Shahbagh, central Dhaka, a policeman was among the bystanders while severely injured wife screamed for support for the writer lying in a pool of blood. The 7:45pm incident on Feb 26 took place as hundreds were walking past the pavement on their way home from the book fair nearby. Photo: Banglar Chokh
A parliamentary watchdog has demanded to know why police did not intervene when writer-blogger Avijit Roy was attacked and brutally murdered on Feb 26.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Home Affairs during a meeting on Sunday asked police to report to it at the next meeting.
Committee chief Tipu Munshi told reporters, “Many quarters have questioned police’s role after Avijit Roy’s murder. It is said that the incident took place amid police presence.”
“That’s why we have sought to know about it in details. Police have been asked to brief the committee in the next meeting.”
One of the panel members, who preferred to be not named, told bdnews24.com: “Avijit murder was not in the meeting agenda. But the committee sought police’s explanation since allegations were raised from different quarters.”
The member said police told the committee that they would give their explanation in writing.
Avijit and his blogger wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya were attacked near TSC intersection at Dhaka University on Feb 26 night. Both of them were hacked with sharp weapons.
The writer, hacked on his head several times, died from profuse bleeding at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital later.
Bonya, who lost a thumb, later alleged that police personnel were standing nearby when they had come under attack.
They watched the events unfold but did not come to the couple’s rescue, she claimed.
Former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque and the prime minister’s Adviser HT Imam recently came down hard on the law enforcers for allowing such brutal murder to happen inside the university campus amid heightened security during the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.
But Inspector General of Police Shahidul Hoque rejected the allegations.
Hoque claimed police had acted and rushed to the scene hearing the couple’s cry for help but the killers had fled by then.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police have a three-strong team investigating the alleged inaction of police.
The FBI is assisting the Detective Branch (DB) in the murder investigation as Avijit was a US citizen.
But even after nearly a month, the investigators are yet to identify the killers.
Atlanta-based bioengineer Avijit had founded popular blog Mukto-mona and was known for his secular writing. He had received death threats several times from radical fanatics.
Police say they are conducting their enquiry based on those threats.
So far, they have only managed to arrest one suspect – Shafiur Rahman Farabi, who in a Facebook post had threatened to kill Avijit when he returns home.
DB spokesperson Monirul Islam on Sunday told reporters, “There were a lot of people around the scene where Avijit was killed but none could clearly say how many assailants were involved in the attack or what they looked like.”