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ISIS Says It Killed Bangladesh Tailor Once Jailed for Blasphemy

A Hindu tailor who had been briefly jailed several years ago over accusations that he made an unfavorable comment about the Prophet Muhammad was hacked to death on Saturday near his shop in central Bangladesh, the police said.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, citing the accusations of blasphemy against the tailor, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.

Mohammad Abdul Jalil, the officer in charge of the Gopalpur police station in the Tangail district, a central region where the attack occurred, said in a telephone interview that it was too early to determine the motivation of the assailants or whether they were Islamist militants.

Similar attacks claimed by the militants seem to be accelerating, with five people hacked to death in the past nine days.

The latest victim, Nikhil Chandra Joarder, 52, was jailed in 2012 after being accused of making a negative comment about the prophet. He was also involved in disputes with members of his family and some local Muslims over land, Mr. Jalil said.

Mr. Joarder, who lived in the Dubail Bazar area in the jurisdiction of the Gopalpur police station, owned a tailoring shop nearby, Mr. Jalil said. He had stepped outside his shop, and around noon two or three men arrived on motorcycles and cut him on his head, his neck, his face and a hand, said Mohammad Aslam Khan, a police official in the Tangail district.

Mr. Joarder died on the spot, Mr. Jalil said, and Mr. Khan said the assailants had left a bag containing two machetes and four bombs.

The 2012 case against Mr. Joarder was filed by a local madrasa teacher, who accused him of making derogatory remarks about the prophet, Mr. Khan said. Mr. Joarder was jailed for 14 days, before the claims were withdrawn.

Over the past two years, intellectuals, writers, members of religious minorities and activists who have published views critical of Islam have been killed by extremists in Bangladesh.

A Bangladeshi gay rights activist and his friend were hacked to death on Monday in what the police said they suspected was an attack by Islamist militants. A militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, said it was behind those two killings.

Days earlier, a professor of English was hacked to death in northwestern Bangladesh, and the police said they suspected that it was also a targeted killing. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a message posted on Twitter by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Responsibility for a number of recent attacks in Bangladesh has been claimed via social media accounts linked to the Islamic State. The government and the police deny that the group has a presence in the country.

[Source: By Julfikar Ali Manik and Geeta Anand, The New York Times, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 30Apr16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 23May16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.