MNA Editorial Desk: Two Bangladeshi citizens, including an Imam, were shot to death near a mosque of the Queens area in NY (New York) of US on Saturday afternoon. They were shot in the head from a short distance on their way back home after Zuhr prayers.
Two Bangladeshi were recognized as Imam Alauddin Akhonjee, 55-year-old, and his friend Tara Mia, 64-year-old. Akhonjee was the imam of Al – Furqan Jame masjid of the Ozone Park area in Queens, New York.
“The purpose of this killing is not yet clear,” deputy inspector Henry Sautner of New York police told news agency.
At the time of the occurrence both Alauddin and Tara were dressed in religious dresses and wore praying caps on their head.
Law enforcement agency collected evidence from CCTV footage and recognized a young man as the killer. According to the footage, the gunman was wearing a black t-shirt and shorts.
Several eye witnesses said that the gunman shot the victims 4-5 times from behind with a small revolver, before fleeing away. However, the police have not yet detained any suspect and have requested anyone with information, to come forward.
Alauddin Akhonjee became Imam of the mosque after arriving to the US from Bangladesh two years ago. The news of his murder flashed a horror among the Bangladeshi community who claim Akhonjee to be a beloved and popular Imam.
A protest was held last evening to seek justice for the murder of the two victims. The protestors also demanded safety and security for devotees at mosques.
The purpose for the killing was not instantly known and no proof has been exposed that the two men were targeted because of their faith, said Tiffany Phillips, a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department. Even so, police were not ruling out any possibility, she also added.