A Hindu tailor has been murdered in central Bangladesh today, the latest to die in a series of machete attacks across the country seemingly targeting non-Muslims.
Nikhil Joarder, who was in his 50s, was attacked and killed while sitting outside his shop in Tangail on Saturday afternoon. He had previously spent a few weeks in jail after a complaint was made in 2012 that he had made disparaging comments about the Prophet Mohammed. Police are now investigating whether or not there is a link between the murder and his comments.
According to Tangail police superintendent Mohammed Tanvir, Joader was attacked by at least two men, who drove up to his shop on motorbikes and set about him with machetes. He is believed to have died immediately.
Joader's is the latest in a shocking series of killings which are shaking the predominantly Muslim South Asian country. Five people are believed to have already been killed in similar fashion this year alone, while another nine were murdered in 2015. Despite police making some arrests, they have yet to make any prosecutions.
Most recently, one of the editors of Bangladesh's only LBGT magazine was hacked to death in the nation's capital Dhaka. Xulhaz Mannan, who worked for Roopbaan, died alongside Tanay Mojumdar on Monday, when attackers burst into the flat where the pair, who were openly gay, were staying. Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladeshi division of al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility.
And a university professor was also murdered in similar circumstance just days before that. 58-year-old Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English teacher at Rajshahi University, was killed as he waited for a bus to take him to campus.
"He was neither a blogger nor an anti-Islamic campaigner, but the pattern of the murder indicates Islamist militants involved in the recent spate of killings of secular bloggers might have a link," Rajshahi police spokesman Mohammad Shamsuddin told CNN.