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    » 08/10/2009, 00.00

    BANGLADESH

    Muslim gang extorting money from minority Hindus in Bangladesh

    William Gomes

    When a family failed to pay up, the criminals began abducting young Hindu women to get families to pay a ransom for them. Now a Muslim gang member is threatening to marry a young Hindu woman without her consent. Human rights activist calls on the government to intervene.
     

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Some 20 Hindu families from the villages of Kalibari, Kajir Hat and Keramotia, in the sub-district of Sonagaji, southern Bangladesh, have become the victims of extortions and blackmail by members of the local Muslim majority, this according to representatives of the local Hindu minority. They complain that young Hindu women are being abducted to extort money from their families.

    Initially Jafar, Yunus, Saiful, Ripon, and other Muslims set up a criminal gang. Their first deed was to demand 45,000 taka (US$ 650) from the family of Nitia Das, in Kalibari.

    When other Hindus resisted attempts to extort money, the gang began persecuting Hindu families in the area’s villages. 

    They abducted one young woman, demanding a ransom of 50,000 taka (US$ 725) for her release.

    In a second case a family had to pay 25,000 taka (just over US$ 360) to get the release of the young woman involved.

    A local Hindu, Boloram Das, who is related to the second kidnap victim, said that more threats have been made against local Hindus.

    One of the gang members, Yunus, is now threatening to marry a young Hindu woman against her will and that of her family.

    “Neither villagers nor police are willing to help us,” he lamented. In addition, “at least 20 Hindu families from the area are unable to go home.”

    Human rights activist Dipal Barua said that attacks against minorities are very much on the rise in Bangladesh.

    Strongly condemning violence, he called on the government to “take proper actions against the extortionists as soon as possible.”

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    See also

    10/12/2009 INDIA – HUMAN RIGHTS
    Human rights violated by extremism as well as religious and social discrimination
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    03/05/2006 INDIA
    Gujarat violence brings back spectre of 2002 massacres

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    22/06/2009 BANGLADESH
    The daughter converts to Christianity, Muslims marginalize the family
    The relatives of the young woman, who lives in the United States, speak of a "wrong" choice and demand an end to bullying. The woman risks a fatwa for apostasy, her husband seeks a divorce. Solidarity from Catholics activists who denounce the violation of religious freedom.

    08/05/2006 INDIA
    Let dialogue prevail over emotions in Gujarat

    In the wake of the demolition of a Muslim tomb in Vadodara and violence that consequently exploded in the city, we are publishing some reflections of a renowned human rights activist in Gujarat: do not be guided by instincts in religious matters, dialogue should take priority.



    04/02/2005 PAKISTAN
    New cases of violence and torture against Pakistani Christians
    Instead of investigating, local authorities engage in cover-ups. In some cases, international organisations ignore the plight of Christians.



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