Hindu Ashram Worker, Nityaranjan Pandey, Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

A 60-year old Hindu ashram worker, Nityaranjan Pandey, was hacked to death yesterday in northern Bangladesh, the latest in a series of brutal attacks on Hindus, other minorities and secular activists in Muslim majority Bangladesh.

Nityaranjan Pandey, 60, of Thakur Anukul Chandra Satsanga Paramtirtha Hemayetpurdham ashram, was murdered around 6:15am on Friday while he was walking near his ashram in Pabna’s Hemayetpur Upazila, local police chief Abdullah Al Hasan said, according to eibela.com.

Hindu Ashram worker Murdered
Locals surround the body of a Hindu ashram worker after assailants hacked him to death in Pabna, 275 km from Dhaka on Friday. (AP)

Police said the assailants hacked on his neck and head from behind with machetes. The nature of hacking indicated that the assailants were trying to decapitate Pandey. The murder happened only 200 yards from the ashram and near the Pabna Mental Hospital main gate; it comes only days after the killings of a Hindu priest in Jhenaidah and a Christian grocer in Natore. The modus operandi in all three cases are similar.

Pandey had been working at the ashram as a volunteer for the past 40 years. He was attacked during his regular morning walk. The ashram’s General Secretary Jugol Kishore Ghosh said Pandey hailed from Gopalganj. “He has been serving here for the last 40 years. He went for a morning walk every day as he had diabetes.”

Local NGO worker Naresh Madhu said: “He (Pandey) lived here for a long time. He became one of us. He was a simple man. He had no enemies.

Pabna district police chief Alamgir Kabir said radical Islamists are suspected of carrying out the attack.

Third Hindu priest/religious worker murdered this year

Nityaranjan Pandey was the second Hindu killed in Bangladesh this week, after assailants hacked a 70-year-old Hindu priest Ananda Gopal Ganguly to death on Tuesday in western Jhenaidah district when he was going to a nearby temple. In February this year, Jogeswar Roy, 45, the head priest of Sri Sri Sant Gourio Math, was beheaded in his home in Panchagar district, Northern Bangladesh, while preparing for morning prayers. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for both the earlier attacks.

According to this report

“A senior Indian diplomat on Friday visited a Hindu ashram in northwestern Bangladesh where an elderly worker was hacked to death by machete-wielding suspected Islamists. Assistant high commissioner Sandip Mitra of assistant high commission of India in Rajshahi city visited the ashram and spoke to officials and priests there.

The monastery, named after a famous Hindu saint, draws huge number of Hindu devotees from across Bangladesh and neighbouring India.

On Tuesday, the suspected Islamists hacked to death 70-year-old Hindu priest Ananda Gopal Ganguly in western Jhinaidah when he was going to a nearby temple.

Two officials from the Indian high commission in Dhaka had visited the home of the murdered priest in Koratipara village of Jhenaidah and met his family members on Wednesday.

First secretary (Political and information) Rajesh Uike and first secretary (consular) Ramakant Gupta at the time told reporters that they hoped police will bring the killers to justice.

Since May 1, Bangladesh has witnessed eight targeted murders in a series of brutal attacks on religious minorities and secular activists.”