Dhaka, June 7 (IANS) A Hindu priest was killed on Tuesday in a suspected militant attack in Bangladesh Jhenidah district, police said.
Gopinath Kanjilal, the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Police, told journalists that three assailants riding a motorcycle murdered Ananda Kumar Ganguly, 66.
The assailants, armed with sharp weapons, slit Ganguly’s throat while he was going to the temple to offer puja, Xinhua news agency quoted the officer as saying.
The incident took place in a rice field some 180 km west of Dhaka. Doctors declared him dead when he was rushed to a hospital.
The motive behind the killing was not known.
Unidentified attackers on April 30 also hacked a Hindu person to death in Bangladesh’s central Tangail district, 97 km away from Dhaka.
In the wake of militant attacks, the Bangladeshi government has banned motorcyclists from carrying more than one passenger until further notice.
The ban came a day after spouse of a top police officer was shot dead by suspected militants at Chittagong, 240 km southeast of Dhaka.
Another police officer, Ahsan Azizur Rahman, said they had not found any witnesses. “Ganguly was the priest of an ancient temple,” he told Efe news agency.
The priest had not received any death threats in the past, Rahman said.
“This this is the second such incident in the area this year. In January, a Christian convert was stabbed some 20 km away,” the officer said.
Eleven people have been killed in similar manner in various parts of Bangladesh since April.
The victims include a secular activist, a professor accused of atheism, two gay activists, two Hindu merchants, a Sufi spiritual leader and a homeopathic doctor accused of promoting Christianity.
Some of the attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State and others by an Al Qaeda branch in the Indian subcontinent.
Nearly 90 percent of the 160 million in Bangladesh are Muslims, while Hindus are the main minority group.