Widow of slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy will remain vocal

Widow of slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy will remain vocal
A Bangladeshi policeman walks past a banner for slain US blogger of Bangladeshi origin and founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site, Avijit Roy during an event by social activists in Dhaka on March 6, 2015 after he was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in the Bangladeshi capital on February 26.

Rafida Ahmed Bonya, the widow of writer-blogger Avijit Roy, has said she will continue to speak for promoting science and secularism for which her husband had dedicated his life and died.

"I will go back to being vocal and expressing what we believe in. The cause that Avijit died for, I will not be quiet," she told the BBC World Service Radio yesterday.

Now recovering from multiple stab injuries in her head and both hands, Bonya said religious fundamentalism had "taken a deep root" in Bangladesh.

She said she had few memories of the attack.

"Somehow, my memory is completely blocked about the incident itself. I don't know if it's like 30 minutes or five minutes. But I remember that Avijit and I started walking out of the book fair, the boi mela, and I don't exactly remember what time. It has to be around 8:30 or little after that," she said.

Bonya said Avijit and she were talking about going home and having dinner while coming out of the book fair.

"We were supposed to go back home and have dinner ... I think I was holding his hand and we were just talking...

"I do not remember anything from that point until I was in some sort of vehicle and someone was carrying me and I remember I was soaked in blood. Most probably, I am not sure, most probably, Avijit's head was on my lap. I was telling someone 'where are you taking me, taking us'. That's all I remember," Bonya said, adding that she had lost consciousness many times in Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

She said she first realised about the attack when she was at the DMCH.

"The first time I realised that I don't have a thumb and I have quite a few stabs on my head and I was soaked in blood that Avijit was still alive, lying on a stretcher beside me," she said.

"Doctors were going back and forth and I was telling them 'please take care of him because my condition is better ... take care of him first.'"

Bonya said she did not think such an incident could happen in a crowded place like TSC on Dhaka University campus with so much security around.

"If they [killers] can act so quickly, in such an organised way, in such a public place, maybe it's time for us to re-evaluate what kind of situation we are dealing with," she said.

Meanwhile, detectives in Bangladesh yesterday handed over the evidence related to the murder of Avijit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for DNA test.

DB Inspector Fazlur Rahman, also the investigation officer of the case, handed over 12 to 13 pieces of evidence, including two machetes used in the killing, to the FBI team that came to Dhaka last week to help the investigation.

"The evidence will be examined at the FBI laboratory [in the US]. Once we get the results, we will try to match those with those of the suspects, and eventually it will help identify the killers," Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the DB, told reporters at his office.

He said Shafiur Rahman Farabi, the prime suspect of Avijit murder, gave names of some people with whom Farabi discussed the murder plan.

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