07/12/2016, 10.20
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Bangladesh, Catholic woman doused with gasoline and set on fire

by Sumon Corraya

Maya Karmokar lives with her elderly mother in the village of Kajura. Relatives report that the woman has no enemies. After the attack she was admitted to a hospital, but then returned home because has no money to pay for treatment. Local Catholics count about 4 thousand, mostly poor and needy.

Jessore (AsiaNews) - A Catholic woman was doused with gasoline and set on fire in the village of Kajura, Jessore district (southwest Bangladesh). The woman, named Maya Karmokar, was asleep in her bed when unknown persons entered the house and attacked her.

Her desperate cries attracted the attention of relatives, who arrived just in time to save her life. Rushed to the hospital, doctors found burns over most of the body. Now, however, she has returned home and is under the care of a local doctor, because she can not afford specialized medical treatment.

The attack took place Sunday, July 9, just 15 days after the massacre in Dhaka, where five Islamic terrorists killed 20 people. Yesterday the local police returned to the place of the attack and gathered information. The criminals are still unknown.

The dynamics of the attack was so sudden that the woman herself was not able to recognize who attacked her. "I could not figure out who they were - she said - I only felt the fire burning my skin and I started crying in pain."

Maya, 45, has worked as a nurse in the medical facility operated by the diocese of Khulna. Single and childless, she lives with her elderly mother and takes care of her.

She remained hospitalized just for one day and had to return home because they can not afford better treatment. She says: "I have no enemies, I do not know why they want to kill me!".

Salomon Das, a relative, confirmed that the woman has good relations with everyone, and this is why family members are shocked by the brutal violence and demand that justice be done.

Fr. Ananda Gopal Biswas, parish priest of the Catholic church of Shimulia, which serves the Maya's village, told AsiaNews: "I heard of the attack and I strongly condemn it. I express my closeness to my parishioner".

The Catholic community of Shimulia consists of about 4 thousand faithful, mostly poor and needy. The violence against the Catholic woman is not the first incident of this kind. Recently several members of Bangladesh's minorities, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, have been attacked but also moderate Muslims who are targeted for their liberal ideas.

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