Category: India/Pakistan

NEW DELHI — A Hindu man was hacked to death in central Bangladesh in the latest attack claimed by radical Islamists in the Muslim-majority nation, police said.

Authorities are investigating whether the killing on Saturday of Nikhil Joarder was connected to a 2012 complaint against him for alleged comments he made against the Prophet Muhammad, said Aslam Khan, a police officer in the district of Tangail, where the attack took place.

The ISIS-affiliated Aamaq news agency issued a statement saying “elements of the Islamic State stabbed to death by knife a Hindu in Tangail in Bangladesh who was known for insulting Prophet Muhammad.” It did not give further details.

Related: Bangladesh Killings: Why Do Liberals Keep Getting Hacked to Death?

Joarder was attacked with sharp weapons by two men on motorcycles as he sat in his tailor shop, Khan said.

Joarder spent two weeks in prison in 2012, and was released after the complaint against him was withdrawn.

The killing was similar to other recent attacks on atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and most recently a gay rights activist by Muslim extremists.

Five people have been killed this year, including Xulhaz Mannan, a U.S. Agency for International Development employee and gay rights activist, and Tonmoi Mahbub, a theater actor, this past week. Two days earlier on April 23, a university professor, A.F.M. Rezaul Karim Siddique, was hacked to death. Nine others were killed last year.

While there have been some arrests — mostly of low-level operatives — there have been no prosecutions so far and authorities have struggled to make any headway in naming those planning the attacks.

Source: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Killing of Hindu Man in Bangladesh – NBC News

Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack that killed editor of magazine for LGBT community.

Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh.

A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Julhas Mannan and Tanay Mojumdar.

Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country.

“Unidentified attackers entered an apartment at Kalabagan and hacked two people to death,” Maruf Hossain Sarder, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

No suspects have been arrested, police officer Shamim Ahmed told the Associated Press news agency.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Hasina vowed to hunt down and prosecute those responsible.

She accused the country’s opposition party and what she called allied armed groups of being behind the killings. The opposition has denied the allegations.

“The BNP-Jamaat nexus has been engaged in such secret and heinous murders in various forms to destabilise the country,” Hasina said, referring to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party and the outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami party.

“Such killings are being staged in a planned way.”

But the BNP called Hasina’s accusations “ridiculous and unfortunate”.

“How can the government come to the conclusion without any proper investigation?” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the secretary general, told Al Jazeera.

“Instead of finding the murderers, the government is busy accusing the democratic opposition,” he said, adding the government has failed to investigate a spate of recent killings.

Alamgir said that govermnment repression of opposition has shrunk the democratic space and the extremists are taking advantage of that.

Ansar al-Islam claim

A group affiliated to al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility, the Reuters news agency has reported.

A Twitter account associated with the Ansar al-Islam group said its members had killed the men, denouncing them as “the pioneers of practicing (sic) and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh.”

Source: Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh – AJE News

A fire  damaged a museum of natural history in the Indian capital that had scores of exhibits of plants and animals, among them a 160-million-year-old dinosaur fossil.

More than a hundred firemen battled for about three hours to douse the flames that broke out early on Tuesday on the top floor of the National Museum of Natural History.

“The damage is huge,” said Rajesh Panwar, deputy chief of the Delhi Fire Service, adding that some part of the museum was being renovated and that its fire fighting system was out of operation.

“If the fire provisions were working, the fire could have been controlled well in time,” he added.

Among the museum specimens was a 160-million-year-old dinosaur bone, the Times of India newspaper reported.

The extent of the damage would only be known once fire officials hand back the building to the department that manages the museum, said federal Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who ordered a safety review of India’s state-run museums.

The museum, in the heart of New Delhi, is popular with school children, but the fire broke out several hours before opening time.

Source: Blaze guts Delhi museum housing dinosaur fossil | Reuters

23 PEOPLE have died after eating sweets contaminated with pesticides in central Pakistan.

The tragedy happened after Punjab province local Sajjad Hussain bought sweets from a bakery in Layyah district.

His son had been born on 19 April and he was throwing a party to celebrate.

At the party the next day, five people died immediately.

Hussain, along with 11 family members, also died.

Police officer Munir Ahmed told the AFP news agency: “The death toll from consumption of the sweets has now risen to 23, and 52 people are still being treated at various hospitals.”

Source: At least 23 people dead after being poisoned by sweets ‘laced with pesticides’ at a party celebrating birth of a baby

With no end to the heat wave in India in sight, the hot weather continues to take its toll on residents, as searing heat has not released its grip on the country, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.

Temperatures in many parts of the country are well above average, with some places reporting more than 5 degrees Celsius higher than expected this time of year, the report said.

The heat is now being blamed for the death of more than 100 people and fears are rising this could turn into a major catastrophe.

The annual monsoon season, usually guaranteed to begin in June, are believed the only way to stop the high temperatures. But if the high temperatures continue like this until then, the report says, it could turn into a major humanitarian crisis.

Last year, 2,500 people died as a result of the heat wave, which began in the country in May. It was India’s second deadliest heat wave and temperatures remained nearly 10 degrees Celsius above average for nearly two weeks before the monsoon rains brought much-needed relief.

This year, there are concerns the blistering heat could remain for far longer.

The situation becomes particularly hazardous if the temperatures do not drop during at night, because this would normally be when the body would recover from the heat.

The situation in India is further exacerbated because many people do not have access to air-conditioning and electric fans can only provide relief if temperatures are below 35C.

In addition, after two years of below-average monsoon rains, some parts of the country are facing a crippling drought. This puts some residents at risk of severe heat stress as they lug heavy containers of water from the nearest well., Jack Durschlag

Source: Stifling Indian Heat Wave Causing Hazardous Conditions – WorldNews

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