DHAKA — An elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death today in Bangladesh, police said, the latest in a spate of murders of religious minorities and secular activists in the Muslim-majority nation.
No group has yet claimed responsibility, although the killing in the remote southeastern district of Bandarban appeared to bear a resemblance to several recent murders by suspected Islamist terrorists.
“Villagers found Bhante (monk) Maung Shue U Chak’s dead body in a pool of blood inside the Buddhist temple this morning. He was hacked to death,” Jashim Uddin, deputy police chief of Bandarban, told AFP.
Uddin said the monk, thought to be 75, appeared to have been attacked by at least four people at the Buddhist temple in Baishari, some 350 kilometres (220 miles) southeast of Dhaka early today morning.
“We saw human footprints in the temple and found that four to five people entered the compound,” he added.
Suspected Islamists have been blamed for or claimed responsibility in dozens of murders of Sufi, Shiite and Ahmadi Muslims, Hindus, Christians and foreigners in recent years.
The ISIS group and a Bangladeshi branch of Al Qaeda have said they carried out several of the killings.
However the secular government in Dhaka denies that ISIS and Al Qaeda are behind the attacks, saying they have no known presence in Bangladesh, and blames the killings on homegrown terrorists.
Buddhists make up less than one per cent of Bangladesh’s population of 160 million people.
Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded
BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.
The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.
Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.
Transportation has also been halted.
Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.
Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.
The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.
Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.Follow @gorkhapost