A 72-year-old woman, believed to be a Sufi mystic, was found with her throat slit in her house in Dhaka, police said today, amid a series of systematic assaults in Bangladesh targeting minorities, Sufis and bloggers. Nurjahan Begum, who lived alone, was found dead in her tin-roofed house near the Martyrs’ Graveyard in the capital’s Mirpur last evening, police officer Farukul Islam said.
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“Her throat was slit,” the Daily Star newspaper quoted Islam as saying. The body was sent to Dhaka Medical College morgue for an autopsy.
Citing locals, the paper said Nurjahan was known as Kheta Pagli and she had quite a following for the last eight years. Her followers considered her a “pir” or Sufi mystic. They built her the house and many of them gave her food and money.
Locals said her followers had been looking for her since early afternoon. Failing to find her, they pushed the partly open door of her room in the evening and found her body covered in a blanket.
There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent years specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners. Over a dozen Sufi Muslims have been found with their throats slit in Bangladesh since 2013. The authorities blamed homegrown Islamist extremists for the killings.