A Hindu priest was hacked to death and another person was injured in a temple near Panchagarh district in Bangladesh, bordering India.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. It also took the blame for beheading a Hindu businessman, Tarun Dutta, earlier in the month. This is the first time that the IS has made a direct attack on the Hindu community.
The attack took place on Sunday morning at 7.00am as Jogeshwar Roy, head priest of Sri Sri Sant Gouri Math in Deviganj area of Panchgarh district, was preparing for the prayers. Two unknown assailants arrived on a two-wheeler, attacked Roy with a cleaver and slit his throat. Devotees present at the small temple, which is also a residence for Roy, who tried to save the priest, were wounded in the attack.
In a statement released late on Sunday evening, by IS related Khilafah News and Aamaq agency, the group said the assassination of a Hindu priest in northern Bangladesh was made by IS elements. “Supporters of the IS assassinated Jogeshwar Roy, a Hindu priest who is also the founder and director of the Sant Gauri monastery, while one of his aides was injured in the assault.” It is pertinent to note that the claim was not made immediately after the attack, nor did any IS supporters on social media make any comments about it.
Experts said this is a standard practice followed by IS, to claim responsibility for attacks which are not directed by its core operational leadership that is based in Iraq and Syria, but are inspired by its supporters.
As an afterthought, the statement also recorded that IS supporters assassinated a Hindu businessman, Tarun Dutta, on February 8, which raised tensions among the local Hindu community. Dutta’s beheaded body was recovered in a ditch in Gobindganj town, after he had gone on a morning walk.
Panchgarh District Superintendent of Police, Abul Kalam Azad told dna that he was not aware of IS claims but the police is taking the matter seriously. “We are very concerned with Sunday’s attack and are making a thorough investigation.” He added that the police were busy with security for Martyr’s Day and International Mother Language Day which were being observed on Sunday. The day is historically celebrated in Bangladesh as a tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives in 1952 to establish Bangla as a state language. Taking advantage of this, the IS supporters could have made the attack. “It took place early in the morning and there were not many people near the temple when it happened.”
Bangladesh has repeatedly denied presence of the Islamic State although the group’s supporters have boasted of violence and killings of minority communities since last year. The casualties in the attacks claimed by IS are few but have been steady. So far the group has killed two foreign nationals 51-year-old Italian national Cesare Tavella and a 65-year-old Japanese man Hoshi Kunio, and has blown up an Ahmadiya shrine, killing one. This year it claimed responsibility for killing a man identified as Samir al-Din, who had allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity.
Earlier, Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent had released a video ‘From Charlie Hebdo to Jagriti’ claiming responsibility for hacking nine bloggers to death and injuring three. The video clarified that the attacks were made only against those blasphemers who ridiculed Islam and the Prophet and that AQIS was not against atheists or non-Muslims in Bangladesh.
Read full article: DNA