At least two unknown assailants have hacked a Hindu tailor to death in central Bangladesh, police say, amid a rise in attacks on religious minorities in the South Asian nation. Police officials said they were investigating whether Saturday’s killing in Tangail was linked to religious groups suspected of a series of minority killings, or was tied to a family dispute.
“They came on a motorcycle and attacked him as he sat on a roadside. They hacked him on his head, neck and hand,” Aslam Khan, deputy chief of Tangail district police, told AFP news agency. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group has claimed credit for the attack in a post online but the claim could not be independently verified.
Bangladesh is reeling from a series of attacks on members of minority faiths, secularists, foreigners and intellectuals in recent months, including two gay activists and a liberal professor in the past eight days alone.
Many of the killings have been blamed on or claimed by groups such as al-Qaeda or ISIL. Police said local Muslims had filed a complaint against Joarder, who owned a tailoring shop, to police in 2012 for making comments about Prophet Muhammad. He was charged with hurting religious sentiments and spent three weeks in jail. “But the trial did not proceed after the complainants withdrew the charges,” Abdul Jalil, the police chief of Gopalpur sub-district, told AFP.