Dhaka, August 14: Two members of the banned Ansarullah Bangla Team militant group were arrested today in connection with the hacking to death of a fourth secular blogger here last week that sparked global outrage.
"Two of the suspects are now in our custody...they are Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) members," a police spokesman told to media last Friday.
The police spokesman identified the detained suspects as Saad-al-Nahin and Masud Rana and said they were under surveillance as suspected ABT members.
The arrests came amid criticism of police after Inspector General Shahidul Haque asked the bloggers not to "cross the limit" or write anything which hurts religious beliefs of others.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal also stood by the police chief in urging the bloggers to be cautious but said all steps were being taken to arrest the culprits and they cannot evade justice.
"Neel wrote nothing which could have hurt anyone in that way...actually the extremist Islamists are trying to create space for themselves using religion," Neel's friend and fellow blogger Meraj Mohamad said.
He said Neel earlier sought police protection but was advised to leave the country.
Mohamad said 40-year-old Neel later gave a foreign address in his Facebook account in an effort to divert the assassins.
Ansar-Al-Islam, also known as the Ansarullah Bangla Team which is the Bangladesh chapter of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent, claimed responsibility for Neel's killing.
The blogger had recently received numerous threats for his writings and stance against radicalism.
Neel was an activist of a platform the Ganajagaran Mancha which waged a massive campaign for the capital punishment for war criminals who carried out atrocities siding with the Pakistani troops in 1971.
The murder of Neel, who was brutally killed inside his flat here with 14 hack wounds found on his body, is the fourth such brutal death in the country. Machete-wielding masked men in May hacked to death 33-year-old Ananta Bijoy Das, a secular blogger, in Sylhet city.
Assailants in February had killed 45-year old Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born US national, here while his wife narrowly escaped the attack.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reversed his decision to take stern action against Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-...
Munich: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran over aggressions by what he called Iran and its 'proxies' in Syria, while showing what...
Tehran: All 66 passengers and crew were killed when an Iranian plane crashed into the country's Zagros mountains today, an airline spokesman told stat...
New Delhi: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday asserted that his country will adhere to the terms of the nuclear deal it signed with world po...