NEW DELHI: Bangladeshi writer and publisher Shahzahan Bachchu was shot by unidentified assailants at his ancestral village in Munshiganj district. The 60-year-old author, known for his outspoken views on secularism, was attacked by five men outside a pharmacy shop near his home before iftar. The men lobbed a crude bomb before dragging Bachchu outside the shop and shooting him, the Dhaka Tribune reported on Tuesday.
Police are investigating whether Islamist extremists are involved in the attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, police said.
Bachchu had received several death threats from extremist groups due to his outspoken support for secularism. He was a former district general secretary of the Communist Party of Bangladesh. His publishing house Bishaka, which is based in Dhaka’s Banglabazar area, specialises in publishing poetry.
Deaths of secular writers, bloggers, online activists and a publisher in attacks by suspected Islamist militants shook Bangladesh for months after the murder of atheist writer and blogger Avijit Roy in Dhaka on February 26, 2015.
Avijit’s publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was also hacked to death on October 31 the same year.
Militant groups claimed responsibility for most of these attacks and the law enforcers arrested many radical Islamists in connection with the attacks.