The Indian envoy in Bangladesh on Sunday visited the Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka, days after suspected Islamists claiming to be ISIS followers threatened to kill the spiritual mission’s principal.
India’s High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Ramkrishna Mission compound, four days after unidentified militants claiming to be followers of the Islamic State (ISIS) issued a death threat to its principal asking him to abstain from preaching his religion in “Islamic Bangladesh”.
“Being the close door neighbour, we just can offer our fullest support for whatever steps are taken here (in Bangladesh to combat militancy),” Shringla told reporters at the mission.
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He expressed satisfaction over the stepped up security arrangements for the Hindu spiritual mission in Dhaka.
India had taken up with Bangladeshi authorities the death threat to the priest of the Ramakrishna Mission. A high commission official had also visited the mission last week after the threat was issued.
A militant on June 15 had sent a letter addressed to Ramakrishna Mission principal on an ISIS letterhead carrying a fake address in Gazipur on the outskirts of the capital and had identified himself only as A B Siddique.
“Bangladesh is an Islamic state. You can’t preach your religion here. If you continue preaching, you’ll be hacked to death with machetes between the 20th and 30th,” the letter was quoted as saying without mentioning a month.
A priest of the mission earlier had said that an unidentified youth two weeks ago had visited the principal’s office without citing any reason.
“We could grab a picture of the youth with a suspicious attitude. We provided the copy of the photo to police for investigation after receiving the threat,” the priest said.
Police said they have enforced a round the clock vigil with uniformed and plain-clothes officers in and around the mission since the complaint was lodged.
Also, no unknown person is being allowed inside without approval of the mission officials.
Last week a Hindu lecturer survived an assassination attempt when suspected Islamists barged into his home and hacked him with lethal weapons, critically injuring him in Madaripur in southwestern Bangladesh.
Ripon Chakrabarty, a 50-year-old Mathematics lecturer at the Nazimuddin Government University College, was hacked with lethal weapons by the attackers who stormed his residence.
However, a 17-year-old militant who was arrested for the failed assassination attempt on the Hindu lecturer was killed in what police claimed to be a “shootout”.
Bangladesh police on Sunday killed another militant with a bounty of Tk 500,000 on his head for murdering secular bloggers, as authorities stepped up their nationwide crackdown on Islamists in the Muslim-majority nation.
Bangladesh in recent months witnessed a series of deadly clandestine attacks on religious minorities and secular and liberal activists.
Islamic State group and a South Asian branch of Al-Qaeda (AQIS) have claimed responsibilities for most of the murders.
However, the government rejects the claim attributing the murders to homegrown militant outfits like Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), saying key-opposition outside parliament BNP and its crucial ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami were patronising the attacks under an orchestrated plot against the government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday vowed to catch “each and every killer” and asked people to help capture the militants to support the anti-Islamist security clampdown that is underway.
A spokesman in police headquarters said nearly 200 suspected militants have been arrested since the crackdown was launched.