Rashid, a reporter for the Bengali-language newspaper Dainik Purbanchal,
was ambushed by gunmen while he was riding his motorcycle to work in
the southwestern city of Khulna, according to Bangladeshi and
international news reports. Dainik Purbanchal, which is published in Khulna, is a well-regarded regional daily.
Three unidentified young men brought Rashid to a hospital, told doctors
he had been injured in a car accident, and then disappeared. A doctor
at the hospital told the Dhaka-based newspaper The Independent that Rashid had suffered a fatal bullet wound to his chest.
Rashid, also known as Rashid Khukon, was a crime reporter who had
written several stories on official corruption and links between
criminal syndicates and outlawed Maoist guerrilla groups, including the
Purbo Bangla Communist Party (PBCP). Rashid's relatives told reporters
that he was on a PBCP hit list. Though the PBCP issued a statement
denying responsibility for Rashid's murder, some colleagues said a
splinter faction of the group may be behind the killing.
The reporter had received anonymous death threats throughout his career
and, for the last year, had been provided police protection. However,
he did not always travel with security guards.
Local journalists believe Rashid was killed for his reporting. Amiya
Kanti Pal, a former colleague, told Reuters that, "Rashid was a brave
reporter. We suspect that the criminals he wrote about might be behind
The Criminal Investigation Department, a federal law enforcement body, is investigating the case.