Bangladesh: Islamists attack Catholics who “dared” vote

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Bangladesh, January 09, 2013: The Islamic extremists wanted to punish the community of the Diocese of Mymensigh who, despite the threats, went to the polls for the general election. The brother of Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi among the victims. The local Caritas gives medical and legal assistance to the assaulted.

Bangladeshi Islamists A group ofIslamist fanatics has attacked the Catholic community in Jamalpur district,” guilty” of having voted in the parliamentary elections on 5January. Eightpeople were injured in the attack: three are hospitalized in serious conditionat the Dhaka Medical Institute. Among these was theolder brother of Msgr. Paul Ponen Kubi ,bishop of the Diocese of Mymensigh .

Theophilus Nokrek , regionaldirector of the diocesan Caritas , told AsiaNews: ” The attack was launched against the Adivasi of Garo ethnicity , whodecided to vote despite the extremists threats. Their houses were set on fireand the assailants promisedto return, burn what is left and take the lands of the tribe. Sonendra Kubi ,the bishop’s brother, is in a serious condition.  His wife was injured in the attack . ”

Atthe moment, Caritas and the diocese are assisting the wounded: “We want tobe assured that justice is done- concludes Nokrek – and for that we are alsoseeking legal help at least in the initial stages of the investigation. Pleasepray for the victims”.

The extremists also attacked theparish of Baromari , in the district of Sherpur . Thefaithful of the area live in fear: five of them were injured, one washospitalized for tests. PolasRema , a young Catholic in the area, said: ” The government needs to stopthis terrorism against adivasi minorities and against religious minorities.” XavierSku adds: “The minorities are still victims in a political game. But thesituation will get worse day after day, if we do not obtain justice.”

Theoutgoing governing party the Awami League won the January 5th electionsby a landslide majority. Theresult was a foregone conclusion, given that the opposition and the BangladeshNational Party had announced that it would boycott the polls. About20% of the population participated in the vote, compared to 70 % in 2008. Atleast 25 people have died the violence unleashed during the vote.

– asianews

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