TANGAIL, Bangladesh (AFP) - At least two assailants hacked a Hindu tailor to death in central Bangladesh on Saturday (April 30), police said, amid a rise in attacks on religious minorities by extremist groups in the Muslim-majority nation.
"They came on a motorcycle and attacked him as he sat on a roadside. They hacked him on his head, neck and hand," deputy chief of Tangail district police Aslam Khan told AFP.
He added that the victim, named as Mr Nikhil Chandra Joarder, 50, may have been murdered for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad several years ago.
Police officials told AFP they were investigating whether the killing was linked to Islamist militants suspected of a series of murders of minorities, or was tied to a family dispute.
They said local Muslims had filed a complaint against the victim, who owned a tailoring shop, to police in 2012 for making comments about the Prophet Muhammad.
"But as far as we know, that dispute ended peacefully. His family said he was also threatened by a relative," a senior police official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The murder came less than a week after suspected Islamist militants hacked to death two gay rights activists in the capital Dhaka, saying they tried to promote homosexuality in the deeply conservative nation.
In February, suspected Islamists also decapitated a top Hindu priest in a northern district in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
ISIS has also claimed responsibility for a spate of recent murders of foreigners, and Sufi, Ahmadi, Shi'ite and Christian minorities.
Hindus, the country's largest religious minority, make up nearly 10 per cent of Bangladesh's 160 million people.