4155_1Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Ziaon Feb 23 condemned the recent killing of a Hindu priest describing it as an “evil” act.

“I, in the possible strongest terms, condemn and deplore the attack and the killing of a member of a minority religious community. They are also peace loving citizens of this soil and have the right to live in this country,” Begum Zia said.

In the latest incident on Feb 21, five or six attackers cut the throat of priest Jogeshwar Roy, 55, as he was organising prayers at the Deviganj temple near Panchagarh, 494 km (308 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka.

They also shot and wounded a devotee who went to his aid.

Islamic State claimed responsibility in a statement issued via social media but police said the attack was perpetrated by a local militant group.

The government denies that Islamic State has a presence in the Muslim-majority country of 160 million people and police have blamed earlier attacks on home-grown Islamist militants. Foreigners, secular writers and publishers have been killed in recent months and mosques and Hindu temples have been bombed.