Atheist Poet and Publisher Shahzahan Bachchu Shot Dead in Bangladesh

By Hemant Mehta

According to disturbing reports out of Bangladesh, atheist poet and publisher Shahzahan Bachchu was shot to death today in the town of Kakaldi.

There were five assailants on two motorcycles, the [Superintendent of Police Jayedul Alam] said.

Shahzahan had gone to meet friends at a pharmacy near his home before iftar, when the assailants came into the area. They blasted a crude bomb outside the pharmacy, creating panic.

They then dragged Shahzahan out and shot him, Jayedul said.

Bachchu had been the publisher at Bishaka Prokashoni (Star Publishers) and a former leader within the Communist Party of Bangladesh. The motive and the attackers are unknown as of this writing. But as we know all too well, a number of public atheists in Bangladesh have been slain over the past few years. There had been a lull in the killings for well over a year, but that ended today.

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