DHAKA — Unidentified attackers slaughtered a 70-year-old Hindu priest in western Bangladesh on Tuesday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on minorities by suspected Islamist militants.
The body of Ananda Gopal Ganguly was found with his head nearly severed in a rice field near his home in the village of Noldanga in Jhenidah district, the area’s deputy police chief Gopinath Kanjilal said.
“He left home this morning saying that he was going to a Hindu house to offer prayers. Later farmers found his near-decapitated body at a rice field,” Kanjilal told AFP.
Kanjilal said it was too early to point fingers at any group, but added that “pattern of the killing is similar to ones carried out by local Islamist militants in recent time”.
Bangladesh is reeling from a wave of murders of secular and liberal activists and religious minorities that have left more than 40 people dead in the last three years.
Ganguly is the 11th person to be killed in the last ten weeks with most of the attacks being claimed by Islamic State jihadists’ group.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has blamed homegrown Islamists for the attacks, rejecting claims of responsibility from the IS and a South Asian branch of Al-Qaeda.
Experts say a government crackdown on opponents, including a ban on Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami following a protracted political crisis, has pushed many towards extremism.
NAC aims to bring more tourists
KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.
The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.
The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.
The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.
For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.
With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.
After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.
South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.
Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.
“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.
Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.Follow @gorkhapost