Assailants wielding knives and axes brutally murdered Chakrabarty, the executive editor of the Bangla-language daily Durjoy Bangla late the night of October 2.
Chakrabarty, a veteran journalist who also helped lead several press groups, was on his way home in Sherpur, a town in the Bogra District of the northeastern Rajshahi Division, when as many as five assailants ambushed and decapitated him, local journalists told CPJ. Witnesses heard Chakrabarty’s cries and the sound of motorcycles as the assailants fled the scene, according to local news reports.
No motive was immediately established, but police told Agence France-Presse that the killers were likely “professional.” The Press Trust of India wire service reported that police suspect left-wing extremist groups. Some local journalists say they are convinced that Chakrabarty was killed in retaliation for his journalistic work, but others speculate that it may have been connected to his work as a Hindu activist and a land dispute at a local temple.
A journalist since the 1970s, Chakrabarty was vice president of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and president of several local journalist associations. Local newspapers ran blank front pages in protest of Chakarabarty’s murder.