01/11/2016, 00.00
BANGLADESH

Rajshahi: tribal Catholic killed, possibly linked to land feud

Sumon Corraya
The man's name was Louis Soren and he was 40 years old. The attackers tried to erase all traces of the murder by burning his body. His wife recognized him from a mark on his leg. PIME priest: "We have buried Louis in the local cemetery."

Naogaon (AsiaNews) - Louis Soren, a tribal Catholic of 40, has been murdered in the village of Jabripara, in the district of Naogaon in Bangladesh. The police found his semi-burned body on 9 January. The man's face was unrecognizable and his clothes were burned. His wife Gugita managed to identify him only by a mark on one leg. His widow filed a complaint against persons unknown, but police have yet to identify a culprit.

Louis Soren belonged to the parish of Bhutahara, where he attended Niamotpur church, belonging to the diocese of Rajshahi. The parish consists of 2,578 faithful, who are all tribal poor.

Preliminary reports show that on January 8, the man had gone to work with his wife in the cornfields. Gugita, went home ahead of him raising the alarm after a few hours, worried that her husband had not returned. "We searched for him all night – she reported - but we could not find him. We eventually found his body in a nearby village. I want to see justice done for the murder of my husband. "

Authorities struggled to identify the Catholic. Obaidul, head of the local police, said: "At first I failed to recognized him, and because of the disfigured face. The killers tried to erase all evidence. "

Fr. Emilio Spinelli, a missionary priest of the PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), who works in the diocese of Rajshahi, told AsiaNews about the death of Louis. He adds: "We do not know who is involved in this murder. The police have returned his lifeless body. We buried him in the cemetery of the local church".

For years the Christian minority in Bangladesh have been suffering attacks and violence. Most of these are due to economic conflicts, in particular forced expropriation of land by Islamic radicals.

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