Dhaka: A day after a 60-year-old Hindu ashram worker was hacked to death by ISIS jihadists, 3,000 people, including 37 militants, have been arrested across Bangladesh in a crackdown on Islamists to halt a wave of fatal attacks on minorities and secular writers.

Sheikh HasinaSheikh Hasina

The militants arrested were operatives of the outlawed Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the outfit believed to have carried out most of the attacks on secular and liberal activists and minorities. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a meeting of her ruling Awami League party that police would stamp out the violence.

"Where will they hide in Bangladesh," she said. "No one will get away. Bangladesh is a small country. It's not a tough task to find them. They will be brought to justice."

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party accused the government of using the crackdown to suppress political dissent. It rejected the allegation that the party and its fundamentalist ally Jamaat-e-Islami were patronising the attacks.