Christian grocer, wife of top Bangladesh anti-terror cop killed

In the latest attack by religious extremists, a Christian shopkeeper was hacked to death and the wife of a senior cop, who has nabbed top militants, was killed in front of her son

Dhaka: A Christian shopkeeper was yesterday hacked to death by unidentified machete-wielding men near a church in Bangladesh, hours after the wife of a top anti-terror police officer was shot dead by religious extremists in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks on minorities and secular activists by Islamists.

The dead body of Mahmuda Aktar, the wife of a top Bangladeshi anti-terror officer, is lifted up by police. Pic/AFP
The dead body of Mahmuda Aktar, the wife of a top Bangladeshi anti-terror officer, is lifted up by police. Pic/AFP

Sunil Gomes (65) was found dead inside his grocery shop at around midday yesterday in northwestern Notore district, police superintendent Shyamal Mukherjee said.

The assailants fled the scene immediately after hacking to death Gomes inside his shop at the commercial hub near a church at Banpara village at the outskirts of the district town, he said. “We are yet to know the details of the incident but our policemen are gathering information about the murder,” Mukherjee said. The motive behind Gomes’ murder was not known
immediately, police said.

Cop wife
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, the wife of a top Bangladeshi police officer who carried out several raids against militants was stabbed and shot dead by three bike- borne assailants in front of her minor son in the port city of Chittagong. Mahmuda Aktar (33) was targeted by the gunmen at around 6:45am (local time) while she was on her way to drop her six-year-old first-grader son to a nearby bus stop for school in Chittagong.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said police suspect religious extremists were behind her murder. Kamal, who was in the port city at the time of the murder, said the Islamists likely to have killed Babul’s wife as he played a key-role in a major campaign against Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Husband’s role
She was the wife of Superintendent of Police Babul Aktar. Babul has led several raids on militant hideouts. It was his investigations which led to the busting of a hideout of banned outfit JMB and arrest of its military wing chief Mohamed Javed. “Since Babul was in counter-terrorism, we suspect that militants are behind the murder of his wife,” Detective Branch Deputy Commissioner Moktar Ahmed said.

Brutal two months
The past two months have seen in various parts of Bangladesh the murders of a secular activist, a professor accused of being an atheist, two gay activists, two Hindu traders, a Sufi spiritual leader, a Buddhist monk and a homeopathic doctor accused of promoting Christianity.

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