05/22/2013, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepali Muslim leader killed, community calls it a political murder

by Kalpit Parajuli
The assassination of the president of National Islamic Struggle Committee threatens to spark renewed sectarian violence. The country's Muslim minority accuses the government of indifference, of failing to deal with the problem of extremist groups. For Muslim Association of Nepal Vice President Mohammad Najimuddi, the killing was politically motivated, demands more security.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Sadrul Miya Haq, a 55-year-old Muslim religious leader, was killed today in Saptari District, eastern Terai. "Another public figure from the Muslim community was murdered amid government indifference," said Mohammad Naiimuddi, vice president of the Muslim Association of Nepal.  "We think it was political motivated."

The victim had his throat cut some 200 metres from a police station. Law enforcement agents arrived on the scene of the crime after three hours, local sources said.

Muslims travelled to the town to express solidarity to the victim's family and protest against the return of violence.

Interior Minister Madhay Ghimire tried to reassure religious minorities with regards to their safety and the effectiveness of the investigation, saying he was "saddened" to see the desperation and concern of the community.

In a country where Hindus are the majority (80 per cent), acts of violence against Christian and Muslim minorities occur with a certain regularity.

A Hindu extremist group, the Nepal Defence Army, has carried similar actions in the past, against both Catholics and Muslims.

Last year, Islamic Federation Secretary General Mohammad Faizan was gunned in the heart of the capital. So far, the police investigation has not led to any culprit.

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