Hindu priest hacked to death in Bangladesh

Shaymanonda Das killed in front of temple south west of capital Dhaka, police say, in latest in spate of attacks.

    A Hindu priest has been hacked to death at a temple in Bangladesh, police and senior administrative officials said.

    Shaymanonda Das, 45, was killed on Friday in the Jhinaidah district, 300km south west of the capital, Dhaka.

    "He was preparing morning prayers with flowers at the temple early in the morning and three young people came by on a motorbike, killed him with machetes and fled away," Mahbubur Rahman, the head of the local administration, said.

    "The nature of killing was similar with the local militants, but we cannot say more at the moment," Mahbubur told the Reuters news agency.


    READ MORE: Bangladesh - extremism and shrinking space for dissent


    Police said they did not know the motive behind the killing and that a local member of the Jamaat-e-Islami group had been arrested.

    Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, has seen a surge in violent attacks in recent months on liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups.

    Al Jazeera's Maher Sattar, reporting from Dhaka, said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility for some of the recent killings but officials deny that those groups have any involvement and blame local organisations.

    "The characteristics of the murder - three men on a motor cycle, hacking to death, these are similar to a number of attacks that have taken place in Bangladesh over the past few years," he said.

    READ MORE: Bangladesh's soft targets

    "Hindus are the largest minority group in Bangladesh and comprise about nine percent of the population. But this is a number that has dwindled since Bangladesh was formed and many Hindus we've been told have tried to make their way to India or are thinking about what their future might be."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.