Hindu ashram worker hacked to death in Bangladesh

Wednesday 15th June 2016 06:38 EDT

DHAKA: In the latest attack on the minority, an elderly Hindu ashram worker was hacked to death by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh. Nityaranjan Pandey, 60, a volunteer for the past 40 years at the Thakur Anukulchandra Satsang Paramtirtha Hemayetpurdham Ashram in Pabna, was murdered when he was out on his morning walk.

Pandey is the second Hindu to be murdered in the region this week, shortly after assailants on a motorbike shot and hacked a Hindu priest to death in southwestern Bangladesh. Local police chief Abdullah Al Hasan said evidence indicated the killing mirrored other recent attacks by machete-yielding youths who targeted their victims on the street. Officials believe the killing was the work of more than one person, who chose their time of attack for an easy escape. "No one saw the killing or the killers, but people from nearby places later found the body lying in a pool of blood," Al Hasan said. A member of the ashram addressed the media regarding Pandey's death, saying, "He was the most devoted worker of our ashram... to our understanding he never developed personal enmity with anyone during his stay here for the past three decades."

The attack came soon after the police announced the launching of a nationwide anti-militancy week-long crackdown that also engages elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh. Reports suggested the authorities detained over 100 people and 47 of them were detained from Jhinaidah, the place of murder of Hindu priest Sunil Ganguly.

Hindus across the globe are raising their concerns regarding the steady murders of the minority group people in the Muslim-dominating country. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed released a statement in Nevada, USA, saying it was shocking for the worldwide Hindus to observe the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Bangladeshi Hindu community subject to strong signals of hatred and intimidation.

The Hindu community in the country has also appealed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the matter and ensure their safety and security. "The Hindu community, which is the biggest minority community in Bangladesh, is vulnerable in Bangladesh. Fundamentalist and Jamat forces are trying to wipe out Hindus from Bangladesh. We feel that India being a Hindu majority country, should do something. We have high hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He should act and take up the matter with Bangladeshi government and ensure the safety and security of Hindus," said Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council.

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