26 June 2016
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    » 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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    See also

    17/04/2015 BANGLADESH
    Bishop of Sylhet: Protection for tribal Catholics, victims of expropriation and threats
    At Easter a village inhabited by Khasia suffered a heavy attack from a group of Muslims. The real aim of the aggression was to force the community to abandon the local tea plantation, of which it has legal usufruct. The pastor: "We live in fear."

    06/02/2015 BANGLADESH
    Dinajpur, Catholic village attacked. Bishop: End the violence
    Msgr. Sebastian Tudu launches appeal after weeks of tension. Over 300 Muslims attacked the community over issues related to land and property of tribal Catholics. Muslim dies in clashes: the group responds by setting fire to all the houses.

    27/07/2005 bangladesh
    Adivasis evicted from their homes to build an "ideal village"
    The project is financed by the European Union. Dinajpur bishop and Caritas on the tribals' side.

    12/11/2015 PHILIPPINES
    Card. Tagle for tribal Lumad: military and rebels abandon their "land for peace"
    A delegation of 700 indigenous people walked from Mindanao to Manila to appeal to the government to solve their situation. The Lumad are threatened by those who want to exploit their "ancestral lands". The archbishop of Manila meets them: " What is prevailing is chaos, violence, injustice”.

    22/02/2010 BANGLADESH
    Clashes between tribals and Bangladeshi: eight dead, pagodas and churches burnt
    Violence stoked by disputed land, which Muslims settlers want to rob from Christians and Buddhists. Local sources say the army fired on the crowd. At least 50 homes and the UN headquarters destroyed. Dhaka promises reconstruction of places of worship.



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