Unidentified assailants hacked a Christian grocery store owner to death in northwest Bangladesh on Sunday, police officials said. The country is grappling with several such attacks by Islamist militants on Christian minorities and secular activists.
The deceased was identified as 65-year-old Sunil Gomes of Bonpara village, which houses one of the oldest Christian communities in the Muslim-dominant nation, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Local police official Abdur Razzak reportedly said that although the motive for the killing was largely unknown, but it definitely seems to be an attack on Christians like earlier. He also confirmed that it bore resemblance to the attacks on Hindus and other religious minorities in recent months.
“Sunil Gomes was hacked to death at his grocery store just near their local church at Bonpara village,” Shafiqul Islam, deputy police chief of the surrounding Natore district, told AFP.
Gomes’ death took place hours after the wife of a police official was shot dead in the southeastern port city of Chittagong. The police official Babul Aktar has worked to curb Islamic extremism against christians and muslims, which has grown in the South Asian nation.
Over 40 Christians have been killed in Bangladesh over the past three years due to attacks by Islamic militants. Last month, police arrested and charged militant, Maskawat Hasan Sakib, for the murder of professor Rezaul Karim Siddique of Rajshahi University. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, had claimed the responsibility of the murder of the officers wife. However, local police denied the existence of any foreign Islamist outfit in Bangladesh as usual.