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  • » 09/15/2009, 00.00


    Dhaka: Christian murdered for a cellphone, police deny version of theft

    William Gomes

    Swopon Mondol, a Baptist, died in hospital from serious injuries sustained during the beating. Police officer accuses "groups of students” from University of Dhaka of "committing violence." Blackmail and threats to his wife for reporting episode.

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Beaten by a group of young students from the University of Dhaka for an - alleged - theft of a mobile phone, he died after a few hours from serious injuries sustained during the beating. The victim is Swopon Mondol, a Christian from the Free Christian Baptist Churches of Bangladesh.  His body was found the evening of 12 September on the university campus. Rushed to hospital, he died shortly after midnight on September 13, his wife, who rushed to his side, has been threatened by the attackers not to report the crime.

    Police have opened an investigation into the matter and seem to have identified the culprits. Mohammed Wahid, a police officer from Sahabag station cites internal sources according to whom "a group of students from Mohasin Hall in Dhaka University, led by Mohammed Rajan" brutally tortured and killed the young Christian, husband and father of a child of 10.

    "On 12 September - said Mohammed Wahid - around 8 o'clock in the evening I received a call from a source, who noted the presence of a man seriously injured near the park of Suhrawardi. When I saw the condition of man, I ordered his transfer to the Medical College in Dhaka, where his wife also arrived".  

    The officer (pictured) adds he knew the young man involved and does not believe the "thesis of the stolen phone". He confirms recent cases of "aggression from the University of Dhaka," perpetrated by "groups of violent students" who use "excuses" such as the theft of a phone "to harass innocent people." "He was a good and kind person - highlights Wahid - and he was killed in a brutal manner”.

    "In the hospital - adds Lucky Modolo, wife of the victim Diptoo, and mother of a boy of 10 - some young people surrounded me, asking me for money as compensation for the theft of mobile phones. My husband was struggling between life and death, I felt hopeless. "  

    The woman admits to "being afraid" to ask for an investigation, "the fear of retaliation: they could also kill me”.  Her thoughts now go to her young son and "how we are going to survive" because "my husband was the only one who earned money." Swopon Mondol was buried on 13 September; his sister Sulekha is "seeking justice" for the murder.  

    The Free Christian Churches of Bangladesh has 320 churches and more than 30 thousand faithful, and has been present in the country for more than 25 years. The movement has faced attacks during the second Gulf War and several times members have suffered persecution. "Swopon Mondol was a very active member of the church - emphasizes Baptist bishop Alberti P Mirdha - his death has shocked us. Minorities are not safe in Bangladesh. "


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