Muslim Sufi leader murdered by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh

Muslim Sufi leader murdered by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh

Muslim Sufi leader murdered by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh
A 65-year-old Muslim Sufi preacher was hacked to death by unidentified machete-wielding assailants in northwest Bangladesh, two weeks after a liberal university professor was killed in a similar attack claimed by the dreaded ISIS.

Shahidullah was found dead with gashes on the right shoulder and a slit throat in a mango orchard in Rajshahi city's Tanor upazila, in an attack that bears the hallmark of previous murders of intellectuals, bloggers and minorities by Islamists in the country.

His body was recovered after locals called the police around 10:00pm last night, said Abdur Razzak, officer-in- charge of Tanor Police Station.

"Shahidullah was a local grocer but was regarded as a Sufi saint with a number of followers in the area," Razzak told PTI over phone.

He said autopsy of the body was carried out at a local hospital and then returned to the relatives for burial.

Razzak said their initial investigations found that Shahidullah was involved in a property dispute with neighbours "which could be a reason of the murder".

"It seems he was hacked first and then slaughtered," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.

But Rajshahi's police chief Nisharul Arif told reporters that Islamists could also be behind the killing which was similar to the murder of liberal Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim two weeks ago for which the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed the responsibility.

An investigation has been launched into his Shahidullah's murder, Arif said. Meanwhile, the deceased's son has sued anonymous people in a case filed with Tanor Police Station. He said his father was a follower of "Torika Ponthi" (a spiritual path) and might have had enmity with followers of other paths.

There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent weeks especially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners.

In the recent attacks, a liberal professor was brutally hacked to death last month by machete-wielding ISIS militants who slit his throat near his home in Rajshahi city.

Two days later, Bangladesh's first gay magazine editor was brutally murdered along with a friend in his flat in Dhaka by Islamists.

Last week, a Hindu tailor was hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants in his shop in central Bangladesh.
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