Bangladesh Crackdown
Bangladesh CrackdownReuters

Forty five-year-old Shaymanonda Das, a Hindu priest, was hacked to death on Friday by three motorcycle-borne men in front of a temple in Jhenaidah district of Bangladesh, located 300 kms south-west of Dhaka.

Reuters quoted police officials as saying that the motive of the attack was not yet known and that no arrest was made so far.

"He was preparing for morning prayers with flowers at the temple early in the morning and that time three young people came by a motor bike and killed him with machetes and fled away... The nature of killing was similar with the local militants, but we cannot say more at the moment," Mahbubur Rahman, the chief of Jhenaidah district administration, was quoted by the agency as saying.

The BBC quoted the police as saying that he was hacked several times on the neck with machetes.

According to Associated Press, no militant organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack. The police suspect local Islamist militant groups to be behind the attack since the pattern of the killing is similar to the ones carried out by them before.

At least 18 people have been killed in Bangladesh in the last couple of years. These include atheist bloggers, gay rights activists, academics, foreign aid workers and religious minorities. The police have arrested around 12,000 people, most of them petty criminals and supporters of the opposition.

The Islamic State (Isis) group has claimed responsibility for a few attacks, but the government has denied their presence in the country and believes that home-grown militants are behind the attack.

A 70-year-old Hindu temple worker was murdered in a rice paddy field in Jhenaidah last month, while the Bangladesh police charged seven people this week for shooting dead an Italian aid worker in Dhaka in September, the BBC reported.