06/14/2021, 13.02
BANGLADESH
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Muslim students kill fellow Christian student over video game in Savar

by Sumon Corraya

Joy Haldar died in hospital for 22 long days after he was struck with rods and sticks in a punitive raid during which three other Christians were injured. His mother demands justice. A prayer and protest march are planned next week, with Catholic leaders expected to attend. The attackers have been released on bail.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Joy Haldar, a 18-year-old Christian man, passed away on 6 June after languishing 22 days in hospital. He had sustained serious injuries when some Muslim schoolmates attacked him in a dispute over Pubg, a well-known online video game.

Joy attended St Joseph's High School and College, a Catholic educational establishment in Savar, Dhaka District. The assault took place on 16 May in Palu market, Dharanda Catholic parish.

According to eyewitness reports, 11 young Muslims, the victim's schoolmates, sent Haldar death threats by phone, then followed him and rented a small house near that of the young Christian.

On the day of the attack, they ambushed him while he was in the company of three other friends, who were also injured, albeit not seriously. Joy’s fate was different.

After suffering blows to the head and the body from rods and sticks, the 18-year-old was left near death on the ground. His attackers fled on motorcycles.

According to the police report, the young Muslims who carried out the attack are: Arif Miha, Mohammad Joy, Akash, Saddam, Tanvir, Saodagor, Nayan, Sakib, and Sohan plus three others whose names are not known.

Haldar's father is a carpenter and the family are members of the Presbyterian Salom Church in Savar. The parents, poor and without support, struggled to get their son's body and give him a decent burial.

Binor Baroi, a pharmacist and witness to the attack, told AsiaNews. “We heard the sound of the attack. The attackers escaped rapidly by motorcycles. We saw three other Christian youth hurt in their hands, but Joy Haldar was deeply injured to the head that left him unconscious.”

Binor, who is also a member of the same Presbyterian Church as the victim, helped take him to hospital. During Haldar’s stay in the medical facility, he helped collect money from other shops to pay for the treatment.

“We are shocked that the attack was over the Pubg game,” he added. “His classmates took his life.”

Protiva Haldar, the victim's mother, demands justice for her brutally murdered son. “Joy wanted a higher education,” she noted. “He was the hope of our needy family. He could have lifted us out of poverty, but Muslim youths killed my son. I want exemplary punishment for all of them.” 

Last Saturday, members of the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) met the parents and expressed the association's solidarity.

A prayer and protest march are planned for Haldar next week, which will also be attended by Catholic leaders from his school and other local Church officials.

Uzzal Haldar, the victim's brother, has filed a complaint with the police, but six of the accused have already been released on bail and there is a high risk that they may go unpunished.

“As Christians, we are a long way from enjoying security and justice,” he said.

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