bangladesh flag
bangladesh flagReuters

A 28-year-old law student and secular blogger was hacked to death by three assailants in a crowded area in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka Wednesday. The student was a member of the secular group Ganajagran Manch and wrote posts critical of radical Islam on social media.

Nazimuddin Samad, who was a master's degree student of Jagannath University, was walking home after his classes in the evening with another individual when he was attacked. Three bike-borne men stopped the two and hacked Samad with machetes. He was then shot at by the attackers.

The person accompanying Samad has not been found, the police told the Dhaka Tribune.

Samad, the latest secular blogger to have been killed in the country, was reportedly an organiser of Ganajagran Manch. The attackers allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" while attacking him, witnesses told the Dhaka Tribune.

Samad publicly criticised radical Islamists on Facebook and he also campaigned for secularism, his friends told the Bangladesh-based newspaper. He had written about his concerns regarding the law and order situation on Facebook a day before he was killed.

He was found in a pool of blood, and his university and family have been informed about the incident, Assistant Commissioner of Sutrapur division Nurul Amin told the Dhaka Tribune.

The police have not identified the attackers or the motive of the attack yet, BBC reported. 

The question of declaring Bangladesh as a secular state had recently been a major concern in the country as a case in the apex court dismissing Islam as the state religion was ongoing. However, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea to replace the state religion.

Last year, a string of similar public killings of secular activists in Bangladesh had made headlines. While the country is constitutionally secular Islamists continue to put down secular voices that are critical of radicalism in the country.