Bangladesh police launched week-long operations on Friday against extremists and detained 900 suspects in connection with a series of attacks on minority and secular citizens of the country.
Over the past few years, around 40 people that included academics, secular bloggers and members of the religious minorities were killed. A Hindu monastery worker, Nityaranjan Pande, was attacked by several people and murdered on Friday in Bangladesh’s Pabna district.
The murder of Pande, 62, followed the killing of a Hindu priest on Tuesday.
“He had been working at the monastery for around 40 years,” the Al Jazeera quoted Abdullah Al-Hasan, the local police station chief, as saying. “In recent years, he was the head of its office [Shri Shri Thakur Anukulchandra Ashram] staff.”
The militants also killed an anti-terror police officer’s wife, a Christian grocer in last week alone.
The Bangladesh police prepared a list of suspects for 40 targeted killings over the past three years. The list were based on intelligence reports. According to the police, over 900 have been arrested and the number can increase further.
However, the terrorists are not the only target. The police drive is also combing out the wanted criminals. But the main focus is to dismantle the terror network.
The BBC reported that it will take a number of days to actually determine whether the police have managed to crack down on the terror groups responsible for the sectarian killings. According to the government sources, militants having links to the opposition parties are carrying out the attacks to destabilise the country.
A government minister recently suggested that a senior BNP leader, Aslam Chowdhury, met a Mossad operative in India. The minister added that the Israeli intelligence is behind the attacks. Chowdhury is currently facing a jail term on treason charges.
Meanwhile, many are of the opinion that the Bangladesh government itself is behind these attacks to cripple an already weak opposition.