Hindu Tailor Latest Victim of Machete Attacks in Bangladesh

Kamran Reza Chowdhury
160430_BD_TAILOR_620.jpg Former students of Rajshahi University hold a demonstration in Dhaka against the April 23 hacking to death of professor A.F.M. Rezaul Karim Siddique, April 29, 2016.

Assailants hacked to death a Hindu tailor in Bangladesh Saturday, the fifth man killed in the same manner this month, police said.

Three men killed Nikhil Joarder, 50, in front of his tailor shop in Tangail district, 127 km (79 miles) north of Dhaka, at midday, said Aslam Khan, an additional superintendent of police in the area.

“They finished the killing in at best three minutes,” Khan told BenarNews.

He said police were investigating the murder “from all angles.” Joarder was jailed for a week in 2012 after being accused of making a derogatory remark about the Prophet Mohammad. The man who filed the complaint subsequently went missing, Khan said.

The tailor was also locked in a battle with relatives over a land dispute, he said.

Several hours after the killing, the Islamic State extremist group claimed credit for it via its Amaq News Agency, according to the U.S.-based Site Intelligence Group said.

"Elements of the Islamic State stabbed to death by knife a Hindu in Tangail in Bangladesh who was known for insulting Prophet Muhammad," the Associated Press quoted the Amaq statement as saying.

‘Thousands of years’

A wave of machete attacks by suspected militants has gripped the predominantly Muslim country since early last year, targeting secular writers, intellectuals and members of religious minorities.

This month suspected militants also killed law student and secular blogger Nazimuddin Samad; Rajshahi University English teacher AFM Rezaul Karim Siddique; United States Agency for International Development (USAID) employee and gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan; and theater actor Mahbub Tonoy.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 28 to offer U.S. support for the investigation into Mannan and Tonoy’s murder, according to the State Department.

Kerry also urged Hasina to redouble law enforcement efforts to prevent future attacks, a State Department statement said.

Bangladesh authorities have repeatedly rejected claims of responsibility for the attacks from IS and Al-Qaeda affiliates. Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladeshi wing of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), said its members had carried out the murder of Mannan and Tonoy.

Asked about Saturday’s attack, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan once again denied the presence of IS in Bangladesh.

“There is a conspiracy to portray Bangladesh as a militant state. Whenever a murder takes place here, confirmation comes from foreign NGOs that IS or al-Qaeda is responsible,” Khan told BenarNews.

Heads of major religions in Bangladesh on Thursday told the country’s first conference on inter-faith harmony that they would carry on a dialogue to stop religious extremism and attacks on minorities by zealots.

Maulana Farid Uddin Masud, an Islamic scholar, told the gathering that a campaign was under way to collect signatures of 100,000 Muslim scholars who denounce extremism, violence and attack on minorities.

“They are the greatest enemy of Islam. They have portrayed Islam as a religion of terror and barbarism. We have been nourishing religious harmony for thousands of years. It must be protected at any cost,” Masud said.


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