Ali, a stringer for the daily newspaper Jugantor, was reported missing on July 20 and found dead on July 22 in an irrigation canal in Rupganj Village, where he lived. Assailants had bound the journalist's hands and legs, burned his face and chest with nitric acid, and stabbed him to death, according to police.
Ali had received death threats that same week from a local leader of the ruling Awami League's youth wing, according to his wife, Shahida Akhter. Akhter told journalists that the threats followed Ali's reporting months earlier that party activists were linked to incidents of highway robbery on the road from Dhaka to Chittagong. However, she also suggested that Ali might have been killed over a land dispute with some relatives.