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Bangladesh Killings: Hindu Priest Hacked to Death at a Temple in Broad Daylight

Bangladesh has witnessed a spike in suspected Islamist attacks in the last two years

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Bangladeshi citizen protesting against ISIS Image Source: todayonline.com
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  • Although Islamic State has taken responsibility for some recent killings in the past, officials have continuously denied the presence of the group
  • A similar incident took place, in which a 70-year-old Hindu priest was killed
  • Police have not been successful at making any arrests yet

Unidentified assailants have shot to death another Hindu priest today at a temple in Bangladesh, confirmed police and senior administration.

Shaymanonda Das, 45, was brutally killed in front of a temple in Jhenaidah district headquarters, located 300 km south-west from the country’s capital Dhaka.

Mahbubur Rahman, the chief of Jhenaidah district administration said, “He was preparing morning prayers with flowers at the temple early in the morning and that time three young people came by a motorbike and killed him with machetes and fled away.”

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Talking about the further investigation to Reuters, he added, “The nature of killing was similar with the local militants, but we cannot say more at the moment,” quoted India Today.

Relative console Shefali Ganguly, wife of Anando Gopal Ganguly, Image Source: bbc.com

Although Islamic State has taken responsibility for some recent killings in the past, officials have continuously denied the presence of the group, alleging that home-grown groups are behind the recent killings.

While the motive behind the shooting is still not known, the police have been unsuccessful in making any arrest so far.

Earlier, on June 7 a similar incident took place, in which a 70-year-old Hindu priest was killed, when he was riding a bicycle to Naldanga Bazar to perform puja, reported The Hindu.

Ananda Gopal Ganguly was attacked by three men who came on a motorcycle carrying sharp arms.

Later, his body was found in a rice field by some farmers near his village. The Islamic terror group then took responsibility for the attack.

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Apparently, Bangladesh has witnessed a spike in suspected Islamist attacks in the last two years. Its victims have primarily been bloggers, online activists, secular intellectuals, and members of religious minorities.

Previously, Amnesty International has also demanded a thorough and impartial investigation into these gory incidents and proclaimed that the government should “protect those still under threat.”

The group added, “In the current climate of impunity, increasing numbers of people have reported facing threats that the authorities have repeatedly failed to address.”

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  • AJ Krish

    What is the Bangladesh government doing?Aren’t they supposed to provide an answer as to who killed the priest? How long are they going to deny the presence of IS in their country?

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UN Agencies and Bangladesh Government Advances to Prevent Further Deforestation

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

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A deforested section of the Chakmakul camp for Rohingya refugees clings to a hillside in southern Bangladesh, Feb. 13, 2018. VOA

U.N. agencies and the Bangladesh government have begun distributing liquid petroleum gas stoves in Cox’s Bazar to help prevent further deforestation, which has been accelerating with the huge influx of Rohingya refugees during the past year.

Cox’s Bazar is home to large areas of protected forest and an important wildlife habitat. The arrival of more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar has put enormous pressure on these precious resources.

U.N. Migration Agency spokesman, Paul Dillon tells VOA, the refugees have been cutting down the trees and clearing land to build makeshift shelters. He says they and many local villagers also rely almost exclusively on firewood to cook their meals.

“Consequently, the forests in that area are being denuded at the rate of roughly four football fields every single day. We are told by the experts at this rate, by 2019 there will be no further forests in that area,” he said.

Deforestation
Deforestation

Scientists note deforestation has devastating consequences for the environment leading to soil erosion, fewer crops, increased flooding and, most significantly, the loss of habitat for millions of species.

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

“It interrupts migration pathways and regrettably forces these, sort of, artificial confrontations between animals in the wild and communities as they move into areas that have been logged out often-times in search of arable farmland and that type of thing,” he said.

Also Read: First Satellite Launched by Bangladesh

The project aims to distribute liquid petroleum gas stoves and gas cylinders to around 250,000 families over the coming months. U.N. agencies say the stoves will have additional benefits besides helping to prevent deforestation.

For example, they note smoke from firewood burned in homes and shelters without proper ventilation causes many health problems, especially among women and children who spend much of their time indoors. (VOA)