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Bangladeshi publisher Tutul’s ‘attacker’ held by police

Dhaka : The law enforcers on Thursday claimed to have arrested a militant, who directly took part in the murder attempt on Bangladeshi publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul last year.

Identified as Shihab alias Saiful alias Sumon alias Shakib, he is said to be a member of the banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) – a group accredited with several militant killings, reports the Daily Star.

Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) media wing, Masudur Rahman, said Shihab was arrested from airport road in Dhaka last night.

The Bangladesh Police had circulated photos and placed a bounty on the heads of some militants on May 19 this year, including Tk 2 lakh bounty on Shihab’s head.

Unknown assailants hacked to death Faisal Arefin Dipan of Jagriti Prokashani and attacked Ahmedur Rashid Tutul on October last year.

Tutul’s publishing house ‘Shuddhoswar’, whose publications were deemed blasphemous by extremists, had reportedly published writings of local secular writers.

Suddhashar won the Shaheed Munir Chowdhury Award in 2013 and Tutul was nominated for the IPA Freedom to Publish Prize 2016.

Tutul and two bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareque Rahim came under machete attacks at the Lalmatia office of Shuddhoswar.

A group “Ansar Al Islam” (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’s Bangladesh branch) claimed responsibility of the attacks through an e-mail sent to different media outlets.

Shihab’s arrest comes amid countrywide mass crackdown launched by the government in the wake of rising attacks.

So far, the authorities have detained over 11,000 people, mostly warranted criminals. (ANI)