Convict in blogger Ananta Bijoy's murder arrested in India

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Faysal Ahmad, one of the four militants sentenced to death for the murder of secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das, has been arrested in India.

A special team of Kolkata police arrested the 27-year-old in Bengaluru, according to Special Superintendent Md Aslam Khan of the police's anti-terrorism unit, reports bdnews24.com.

He said that the authorities received confirmation about Faysal’s arrest from different officials and reports in the Indian media.

 “Now we are working on his extradition."

Das was hacked to death outside his house in Sylhet’s Subidbazar in 2015.

Das, also a banker, wrote on science topics and edited a science magazine named ‘Jukti’. He was also an organiser of the local Ganajagaran Mancha.

His elder brother Ratneshwar Das filed a murder case with the Sylhet Airport police a day after his death.

On Mar 30, a Sylhet court handed the death penalty to Faysal and three others.

The three other capital punishment recipients are Abul Hossain, 25, Mamunur Rashid, 25, and Abul Khayer Rashid Ahmed, 24.

Hossain and Rashid are still on the run.

Faysal was arrested after the Indian police learnt about his involvement in militant activities, Kolkata-based newspaper Anandabazar Patrika reports.

Investigators in Bangladesh discovered that Faysal was in India at the beginning of June and his mobile number was later provided to the Kolkata police.

India’s Special Task Force subsequently traced the number and arrested him in Bengaluru.

Faysal worked to 'unite extremists' in India, helping the Assam faction of al-Qaeda to strengthen their stronghold in the Barak Valley, according to the report.

At the time of Das's murder, he was a medical student but later got involved with the extremist outfit Ansarullah Bangla.

Faysal was spreading his extremist views under the guise of a madrasa teacher, the newspaper reports.

His passport cites Kachharghesha in Mizoram as his address and he collected his driving licence in Bengaluru using that information. He also made a counterfeit voter ID card, where his name is written as Shahid Majumdar.

Faysal denied any involvement in militancy and said that he arrived in Silchar in 2015. He also denied any role in the blogger’s murder and claimed that he was framed.