Hindu monastery worker hacked to death in Bangladesh

Bangladesh border guards direct traffic in DhakaImage copyright

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Tight security has been in place since the wave of attacks began

A Hindu monastery worker has been hacked to death in Bangladesh, police said, the latest in a string of attacks on secular and minority targets.

Nityaranjan Pande, who was in his 60s, died on the spot after several people attacked him early on Friday, AFP news agency said citing police.

His murder comes after the body of a Hindu priest was found with his head nearly severed in a field on Tuesday.

Most of the attacks have been blamed on, or claimed by, Islamist militants.

“There was no eye-witness to the attack as it happened very early in the morning,” the head of police in the north-western district of Pabna, Alamgir Kabir, told AFP.

No group has said they carried out the attack.

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Regular protests have been held following the attacks of secular bloggers and minorities

‘No enemies’

Mr Pande, who was attacked during his morning walk, had been working at the monastery for 40 years, officials said.

“He was a simple man. He had no enemies,” local NGO worker Naresh Madhu told local news agency bdnews24.

Bdnews24 said the attack happened very close to the monastery.

More than 40 people have been killed since January last year in a wave of attacks, including secular bloggers, academics and gay rights activists.

Bangladesh has a majority Muslim population with Hindu’s making up about 8% of the population.

Who is being targeted?

The grim list of those who have fallen victim to attacks by Islamist militants in Bangladesh is growing ever more diverse.

Secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, and members of religious minorities including Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Hindus have all been killed, many of them hacked to death.

A university professor whose family said he was not an atheist was murdered in April, suggesting the list of those at risk had widened further.

Who exactly is behind the attacks remains murky. Bangladesh has myriad extremist groups and there have been few convictions over the attacks.

Bangladesh has disputed claims by so-called Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaeda-linked groups for the attacks, instead often blaming opposition parties or local Islamist groups.

But until the killings stop the government itself will face accusations of not doing enough to protect minorities in the Sunni-dominated nation.

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