02/19/2018, 16.20
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Garo Christians attacked, robbed in Dhaka complain attackers want to ‘steal our land’

by Sumon Corraya

Christian tribal organisations organised a protest in the capital, but police prevented them from doing so in front of the National Museum to censor the fact that soldiers raped two sisters.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – About a hundred ethnic Garo Christians have protested in Dhaka. They complain that they are the victims of attacks designed to "steal our land".

The demonstration took place on Saturday and was organised by Bangladesh Garo Chattro Shangothan (Bagachas) and student associations.

"We want these criminals arrested,” Bagachas president Alik Mree told AsiaNews. “If the police do not act, we will organise an even bigger demonstration next week."

In Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim country where Bengalis are the ethnic majority, members of minorities are frequently the victims of attacks and land grabs.

The latest incident took place on 13 February in ​​Vatara, a district in the capital Dhaka, when 30 people attacked a Christian Garo family of five and robbed their home.

Three people were injured in the violence.  One of them, Rita Rema, filed a complaint against Shima Begum, Shorifa Islam and the other assailants. "They wanted to rob us of our land and of our store," she said.

The protest brought to light another case of violence against minorities. On January 22nd, two ethnic Marma Hindu sisters aged 19 and 14 were raped by soldiers. The sex crime took place in their home in Rangamati, Chittagong District.

This is why "the military prevented us from demonstrating in front of the National Museum in the Shahbagh area, Alik Mree said. “They did not want to know about the rape of the two girls. "

Rita Rema thinks that "those who wanted to seize our land are planning to attack us again. As long as the police does not arrest anyone, criminals will continue to threaten us."

"How long will we be persecuted in this country?” she laments. “We want answers from the government. We spend days in fear. We want security."

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