DHAKA — A Hindu temple priest was hacked to death in western Bangladesh Friday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on religious minorities by suspected Islamists.
Shyamananda Das, who helped conduct prayers at the Radhamadan Gopal Bigraha Math in Jhenaidah district, was killed by three men on a motorcycle as he was walking on a highway adjacent to his temple early in the morning, police said.
“They hacked him on his neck three times and there was one stabbing mark in his head,” deputy police chief of the district Gopinath Kanjilal told AFP.
“He died after he was brought to a hospital.”
Kanjilal said Das, also known as Babaji, was “a priest” in the temple. But local police chief inspector Hasan Hafizur Rahman told AFP the 50-year-old man was “a temple volunteer who helps conduct prayers”.
“He was an itinerant temple volunteer who travels from one temple to another to serve the Hindu devotees. He came to this temple only yesterday,” he said.
“He was attacked as he walked outside the temple to collect flowers for prayer services,” he added.
Police said no group claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bore hallmarks of recent murders of religious minorities by suspected home-grown Islamist militants.
“The pattern of the killing is similar” to ones carried out by local Islamist militants, Rahman said.
Last month a Hindu priest, 70-year-old Ananda Gopal Ganguly, was also hacked to death in a rice paddy field in the same district near his home.
Mid-Hill highway opens door of prosperity: Minister Adhikari
GALKOT- Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said that the Mid-Hill highway had opened the door of prosperity.
He added that the highway was easing the transportation service of the hilly people.
Inaugurating the Badigad Festival and Nwagi Fair-2075 BS here in Baglung district on Saturday, Minister Adhikari stressed on preserving and promoting the domestic cultures to strengthen the nationality and create harmony among the people.
The festival organizer committee coordinator Tika Paija shared that the festival was organized to preserve domestic culture and promote local tourism.
The festival will run until November 25.