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Sunday, March 1, 2015, Falgun 17, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 9, 1436 Hijr

FBI likely to get involved in Avijit murder probe
Police fail to make any headway
Published : Sunday, 1 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 164
Mamunur Rashid
The United States (US) intelligence agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), may get involved in the investigation of the brutal killing of Bangladesh-born US citizen Avijit Roy.
Avijit's wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonya was seriously injured as she tried to defend Avijit during the attack mounted soon after the couple came out of the Ekushey Boi Mela (Book Fair) around 8:30pm on Thursday night on the Dhaka University campus.
Officials of the US embassy met the family members of Avijit Roy, including his father, Ajay Roy, a noted physicist, at his Ramna residence on Saturday. The US officials informed the government and the family members of Avijit that the FBI wanted to investigate the US citizen Avijit Roy murder case.
Police are yet to make any headway into Roy's murder case. The brutal murder of Avijit at a place crowded with people and in the midst of a multi-tier security has raised serious questions over the law enforcers' response.
Meanwhile, several Bangladeshi intelligence agencies including Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Detective Branch (DB) of Police have begun investigations to find out the motive of the killing and to arrest the culprits involved.
Krishna Pada Roy, Deputy Commissioner of DB (south), told this correspondent that the police are trying to find out from the CCTV footage of the Bangla Academy, if there was any one stalking Avijit Roy before his murder. Some 70 CCTV cameras have been installed on the Academy premises for the occasion of the Book Fair.
Intelligence agencies are also screening the mobile call list of Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya. Police are cheeking Facebook page of Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Bonya. They are trying to find out clues to expedite the investigation.
Farabi Shafiur Rahman's Facebook page is also being investigated. Farabi, of Chittagong, had been arrested for his provocative comments on social media after the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider in a similar attack in the capital's Mirpur in 2013. Farhabi was later released on bail.
Police say they are aware of Farabi's controversial blogging and his issuance of threats to some bloggers.
The United States is ready to assist in the investigation into the brutal killing of Bangladesh-born US citizen Avijit Roy, if sought, US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement issued yesterday.
"We, of course, will provide consular assistance as is appropriate. We stand ready to assist in the investigation if asked," Psaki said.
The spokesperson said this in response to a question whether the US administration could at any point ascribe any kind of motive to this and whether there was anything more to the murder.
Intelligences agencies suspect radical Islamist militant organisations might have been behind the killing of writer and blogger Avijit Roy on Thursday night.
The United Nations has joined the world community in condemning the killing of writer and blog activist Avijit Roy.
At a press briefing at the UN Headquarters on Friday (local time), Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary General, hoped the perpetrators would be quickly brought to justice.
Avijit Roy was the founder of 'Mukto-Mona' blog and used to write against communalism and religious superstitions. Fundamentalists had threatened him on several occasions for his writings.
His father Prof Ajay Roy, who teaches at Dhaka University, has blamed militants for the attack.
Pragatishil Chhatra Jote, a combine of leftist student organisations, has called a strike on Dhaka University campus on March 2 to realise its three-point demand including immediate arrest and punishment for the killers of secular writer Avijit Roy.
Hasan Tarek, Chhatra Union president and convener of the alliance, announced at a press briefing at Madhur Canteen on DU campus on Saturday afternoon.
Book publishers will organize a sit-in programme for 10 minutes on the premises of the Ekushey Book Fair on Saturday protesting the killing of noted blogger Avijit Roy. The programme will be observed from 4:00pm to 4:10pm on the day.
US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has blamed the murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy on a 'culture of impunity' persisting in Bangladesh and called for a swift and effective probe to bring the murderers to justice.
Bangladeshi authorities should swiftly and thoroughly investigate the Thursday murder of Avijit and ensure the perpetrators are held to account, the CPJ said in a statement on Friday.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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