05/31/2017, 14.14
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Mymensingh, a 12-year-old Catholic kidnapped by a Muslim. The family is 'demoralized'

by Sumon Corraya

The kidnapper is a 35-year-old Muslim man. The minor was seized while returning home after school. Parents have asked for mediation of Islamic leaders without results.

Netrakona (AsiaNews) - A 12-year-old Catholic girl was kidnapped by a 35-year-old Muslim man, Fajal Miha, and has been missing for days. The child’s family, of tribal ethnicity, reported the kidnap yesterday, denouncing that it dates back to May 26.

Her parents waited to report the abduction for fear of social stigma affecting girls who are seized, often victims of forced violence and marriages. The child belongs to the Catholic community of Boruakona, in the district of Netrakona, diocese of Mymensingh. Speaking to AsiaNews, family members complain: "We went to the police station several times, we were told we would receive their help. Now we are demoralized. "

The child was in sixth class in the local Catholic school. Teachers report that she is a brilliant and lively student. On the day of her disappearance  she had participated in a program organized by tribal students. In the evening, on the way back home, she was kidnapped by Muslims and some accomplices.

The victim's grandfather states: "As Christians and religious minorities, we are persecuted by the Muslim majority. We can no longer live in this country. " The man says that the family has also attempted to ask for the mediation of Islamic leaders who "had assured us that we could bring our child back in 24 hours. But nothing. Police have also failed. They say they are searching. "

Meanwhile, a group of tribal students has decided to implement a protest against the kidnapping. In Bangladesh, Christians are an exigent minority and have long complained of various forms of persecution and harassment. They account for just 0.4% of the population, which is about 600,000 faithful (out of a total of 160 million inhabitants). Of these, almost 350,000 are Catholics.

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