DHAKA: A Hindu ashram worker was today hacked to death by unidentified assailants while he was out for the morning walk, days after another priest was killed by suspected ISIS jihadists in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on religious minorities and secular activists.
60-year-old Nityaranjan Pandey of Thakur Anukul Chandra Satsanga Paramtirtha Hemayetpurdham ashram was attacked by several assailants who hacked him in the neck, said ASP (Sadar Circle) Selim Khan.
Pandey, who was working at the ashram as a volunteer for the past 40 years, was attacked near the ashram in Pabna's Hemayetpur Upazila during his regular morning walk, Khan was quoted as saying by bdnews.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the murder. This is the second such murder within three days. On June 7, a Hindu priest was hacked to death by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners.
On Sunday, a Christian businessman was hacked to death by unidentified machete-wielding men near a church, hours after the wife of a top anti-terror police officer was shot dead by religious extremists. In February, militants stabbed to death another Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh and shot and wounded a devotee who went to his aid.
In April, a liberal professor was brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants who slit his throat near his home in Rajshahi city. In the same month, a Hindu tailor was also hacked to death by ISIS militants in his shop and Bangladesh's first gay magazine editor was brutally murdered along with a friend in his flat in Dhaka by Islamists.
The ISIS and al-Qaeda in Indian Peninsula have claimed responsibility for some of the attacks although the government denies their presence in Bangladesh