Christians in Jhenaidah have claimed militants killed a village homeopath for preaching Christianity after his conversion.Deceased Samir Ali’s son, however, says his father did not convert from Islam.Ali’s body was found at his chamber at Balekhal Bazar on Thursday afternoon after unidentified miscreants knifed him to death.Islamic State has claimed responsibilities for the murder, according to SITE intelligence group.”Soldiers of the caliphate were able to eliminate the apostate, named ‘Samir al-Din’, by stabbing him with a knife,” SITE quoted the group as saying.One Way Church Bangladesh coordinator for Jhenaidah region Harun-or-Rashid told bdnews24.com Ali converted through the church in 2001.“He was devoted to preaching Christianity. That’s why the militants killed him,” he said.Alampur AG Church’s ‘Jahid’ claimed nearly 500 people had converted to Christianity through Ali.But Jhenaidah Sadar Police Station OC Hafizur Rahman said Ali had converted to Christianity in 2001 but returned to Islam later.“He became a follower of the Chishtia doctrine when he returned to Islam. Then he became a follower of [mystic poet Lalon Shah],” the OC said.
One Way Church’s regional supervisor Pikul Madhuri said the OC’s claim was ‘untrue’.“Samir would join the Christmas prayers. He was in a meeting of the church at Gopinathpur village on Jan 3,” he said.Ali had told the meeting his life was in danger, Madhuri said.Ali’s son Md Moniruzzaman said his father did not convert to Christianity.“He regularly performed salaah. He was a Muslim,” he said.OC Rahman said police are investigating whether the murder of Ali has any links with militants.Several militant attacks on religious minorities in northern districts like Rangpur, Dinasjpur and Bogra took place by the end of last year.Police said Jama’atul Mujahidden Bangladesh (JMB) was involved in several of the incidents, including the attempts to murder Father Luke Sarker in Pabna and Father Pieoro Parolary in Dinajpur, and the murder of an organiser of a Baul festival in Chuadanga.Christian priests have received death threats reportedly from the IS.