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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Protests over Bangladesh monk's murder
Dhaka street scene
The killing is the latest in a series of high profile murders recently
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By Alastair Lawson
BBC correspondent in Dhaka

The minority Buddhist community in Bangladesh have expressed outrage over the murder of a prominent monk in the southern district of Chittagong.

The dead monk, Ganojyoti Mohasthobir, was well known in the coastal district where he ran an orphanage looking after 100 children.

His monastery was attacked by more than 20 armed men on Monday before he was repeatedly hit on the head and stabbed.

The killing is the latest in a series of high profile murders in Bangladesh in recent months, many of which have gone unsolved.

Motive unclear

The murder of the monk is the latest example of the breakdown of law and order in Bangladesh.

A group of more than 20 men scaled the wall of the monastery and tied up and blindfolded the servants of Ganojyoti Mohasthobir before killing him.

Police say they are not clear as to the motive but it could relate to an extortion demand.

After his murder the Buddhist community in the city staged angry protests.

Growing lawlessness

The killing is likely to embarrass the government which came to power last year pledging to restore law and order in Bangladesh.

Dhaka policemen
More police are being recruited

Two people have been arrested in relation to the latest killing, but it is not clear whether they will be charged.

Over the last six months there has been a series of murders and kidnappings, nearly all of which have gone unsolved.

Victims come from all sectors of society and have included school children and middle class professionals.

The authorities have also failed to make any progress in catching 25 people who last year were described by the government as the country's most wanted criminals.

Phone ban

Photographs of many of the suspects have not even been made publicly available.

In cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong angry crowds have taken the law into their own hands and have on several occasions beaten up and killed suspected muggers.

The government says that it intends to stop growing lawlessness by recruiting 5,000 more policemen.

It is also ordered the only senior police officers should be allowed to use mobile telephones while on duty.

They argue this will prevent criminals from receiving tip offs from junior officers.

See also:

02 Apr 02 | South Asia
Bangladesh changes security law
11 Mar 02 | South Asia
Bangladesh law and order promise
08 Mar 02 | South Asia
Bangladesh protest against acid attacks
04 Mar 02 | South Asia
Bank robbers strike terror in Dhaka
16 Feb 02 | South Asia
Bangladesh cracks down on crime
10 Dec 01 | South Asia
Dhaka lynchings spread alarm
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