A court in Bangladesh's capital has indicted a leader of a hard-line Islamist group and seven students in the hacking death of an atheist blogger two years ago.

The court issued the indictments Wednesday after accepting the police investigation into the killing of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider in front of his house in Dhaka's Mirpur area.

The indictments mean a trial will begin for Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, head of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, and the seven students at a private university who have confessed involvement in the killing.

The investigation report says Rahmani incited the students to kill Haider in sermons at two mosques in which he said all atheist bloggers should be killed to protect Islam.

Haider had criticized the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in his blog.