A Dhaka court on Sunday indicted eight members of the banned militant group Ansar al Islam in a case filed over the killing of Faisal Arefin Dipan in 2015.
The court of Judge Md Mujibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal also fixed November 18 for recording witnesses depositions.
The prosecution read out the charges and asked the indicted people if they were guilty or innocent. They said that they were innocent and prayed for justice.
On March 20, the tribunal accepted the charges in the presence of six out of the eight accused.
The people arrested in the case include killing squad leader Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Sifat alias Shamim alias Samir, who had confessed to his role in Dipan's killing, and pointed out the wider role of the infamous "Major Zia" in the killing of bloggers.
Also in police custody are trainer Abdus Sabur alias Abdus Samad alias Sujon; top Ansar al-Islam operatives Khairul Islam alias Jamil alias Jisan; Sheikh Abdullah alias Jubayer alias Jayed; Abu Siddique Sohel alias Sajid alias Sihab; and Mozammel Hossain alias Saimon.
Two other suspects – sacked army Major Syed Ziaul Haque Zia, and Akram Hossain alias Hasib – are still on the run.
On November 15, 2018 the investigation officer of the case submitted the charge sheet against the eight suspects to the court of the Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate.
Dipan, the owner of a publishing company named Jagriti Prokashoni, was hacked to death inside his office at Aziz Super Market in Dhaka on October 31, 2015.
Dipan's company had published a book written by writer-blogger Avijit Roy, who had been murdered on the campus of Dhaka University eight months earlier.
Dipan's widow, Dr Razia Rahman, filed a murder case at Shahbagh police station on November 2, 2015 against unidentified assailants.