Criminals shot dead a writer-publisher and former CPB leader in Sirajdikhan upazila of Munshiganj yesterday.
Shahjahan Bachchu, 55, was acting editor of weekly Amader Bikrampur and former general secretary of Munshiganj chapter of Communist Party of Bangladesh. He had his own publishing house “Bishaka Prokashoni”.
As a free-thinking blogger, he wrote several posts on religious matters, his daughter Achal Jahan told The Daily Star.
“When bloggers were being killed one after another in the country, my father received threats on his mobile phones on a number of occasions,” she said.
Munshiganj Superintendent of Police Jahedul Alam said they primarily suspect that a “local feud” could be behind the murder and police have already picked up several people for interrogation.
Witnesses and police said Shahjahan was inside Anwar Medicine shop at Kakaldi intersection in the upazila.
Around 6:30pm, four youths on two motorbikes stopped in front of the shop.
Faces of the attackers were covered with black cloths. They first exploded a bomb which made people run away from the scene, and then dragged Shahjahan out of the shop and shot him in the chest point blank.
He was rushed to Sirajdikhan Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared him dead.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Masum, who was nearby, said he heard a bang and rushed to the scene to see the suspects fleeing on motorbikes.
Mohammad Helal Uddin, inspector (investigation) of Sirajdikhan Police Station, said they were yet to ascertain the motive behind the killing.
A team from Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police went to the spot last night. “We have sent a team to the spot … nothing can be disclosed right now,” said Saiful Islam, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC.
Locals and family members said Shahjahan lived in Japan for about five years. He returned in 1993 and established his publishing house.
The house published over 100 books of poetry by different poets. Shahjahan himself authored a poetry collection titled “Rong Dhong Tamasha”.
Party leaders, publishers, and family members said Shahjahan was active on Facebook over the last couple of years.
Regarding his political activities, CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim told The Daily Star that Shahjahan has not been involved with the party for the last five years.
“He was a writer and publisher and he was targeted by fundamentalist groups,” he said, demanding exemplary punishment for the killing.
Between 2013 and 2016, at least 12 bloggers, free-thinkers, and online activists were murdered in suspected militant attacks.