Police in Gaibandha, Bangladesh, said Thursday Islamic extremists were likely responsible for Hindu shop owner Debesh Chandra Pramanik’s recent death — not the Islamic State group.
The 60-year-old Hindu man was found at his shoe store Wednesday with cuts on his neck that suggested he’d been hacked to death, the New York Times reported. Police initially said Pramanik likely died fighting over money with another local resident, but then the Islamic State group, or ISIS, took responsibility for the killing.
Law enforcement rejected the claim Thursday. “We suspect that members of JMB may have killed him,” police chief Ashrfaul Islam told Agence France Presse, referencing Jamayetul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, a local organization of Islamic militants. “We’ve launched raids in the area.”
Jamayetul Mujahedeen Bangladesh launched at the turn of the century and rose to prominence in 2005, when it organized an attack across Bangladesh that involved nearly 500 bombs exploding in 63 towns within 7 minutes, according to GlobalSecurity.org. The group has also attacked courthouses and shrines with the goal of “overthrow[ing] the democratically elected government in Bangladesh,” an official with the National Investigating Agency said last year.
Pramanik’s death followed those of eight others in the region since April, including a professor, an atheist, a monk and two activists, AFP reported.
ISIS took responsibility for last week’s hacking death of a doctor, but police again rejected the connection. “The home-grown militants visibly are repeatedly trying to prove their links with international outfits like [ISIS] or the al-Qaeda,” an anonymous official told Press Trust of India. Additionally, Home Secretary Rhmatul Munim added investigations have found “no link of any international group to the incidents in Bangladesh.”
The National Investigating Agency said in 2015 the Jamayetul Mujahedeen Bangladesh had been organizing in Assam, Jharkhand and West Bengal, collecting money, recruiting young members and training fighters, DNA India reported.