09/03/2013, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Catholic man killed in land dispute in Bangladesh

by Sumon Corraya
The victim, Johnny Gomes, was involved in a dispute with a cousin, who might be the killer. Urban growth in Gazipur is causing frequent reprisals.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - A young Catholic was killed in a land dispute in the village of Bagdi (Gazipur District), near Dhaka. His body was found on Saturday, after a day of search. The victim's name was Johnny Gomes; he was 30-years-old and married. The family said it is "desperate", partly because it appears that the killer was a cousin, Sony Gomes, to whom he was very close.

Mousumi, the victim's wife, said that on the day of his disappearance, Sony had invited her husband to go fishing, but that he did not come back. A few hours later, the woman received a phone call from Sony, telling her, "I killed your husband."

Mousumi reported the incident to the local police station, which found the body after an intense search.

"No one can believe that Sony killed Johnny," said Jhorna Cruze, secretary of St Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church to which the victim belonged, speaking to AsiaNews.

However, some residents of the area suggest that a dispute over the sale of land might be behind the murder.

Gazipur is experiencing rapid urban growth, and the owners of factories and construction companies continue to buy up land to expand their activities.  This has pushed up the value of real estate, fuelling clashes with locals.

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