A Hindu businessman was on Wednesday hacked to death in Bangladesh after he allegedly refused to pay extortion money to drug addicts, the latest murder in the Muslim-majority nation which has witnessed a series of brutal killings of secular activists and minorities by Islamists.
Debesh Chandra Pramanik, 68, a shoe store owner, was murdered inside his shop in Gaibandha of northwestern
Gobindaganj Upazila. “The assailants slit throat using sharp weapons leaving him dead instantly,” the officer in-charge of the police station in the neighbourhood Mozammel Haque told reporters.
He said police immediately launched an investigation into the murder and arrested one Nepen Chandra in connection with the murder. The victim’s family claimed that some local drug addicts tried to extort money from Pramanik a few days ago and when he refused to pay, an argument broke out at the shop.
Pramanik’s son Debashish Chandra told reporters that his father could be a victim of the drug addicts. “There was heated exchange of words after my father refused to pay them the money they demanded,” he said.
Police, however, said they were yet unclear about the motive and identity of the assailants. Bangladesh in recent period witnessed a wave of murders of liberal and secular activists, writers and minorities by suspected Islamist militants. A Muslim homoeopath doctor being their last victim last week in western Kushtia.
The Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibilities of most of the murders but Bangladeshi authorities rejected the
claims. “The home grown militants are repeatedly trying to prove their links with international outfits like IS or al Qaeda,” a senior home ministry official had said after last week’s murder. “Our investigations found no link of any international group to the incidents (clandestine attacks) in Bangladesh.”
A Buddhist monk, a atheist student, two gay rights activists, a liberal professor, a Hindu tailor and a sufi Muslim leader were the other victims of the deadly attacks since last month.
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