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Activists demand justice for Church bombing

Blast ten years ago struck in the choir area where mostly young people were sitting

Activists demand justice for Church bombing
Activists join a candle-lit procession to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Church bombing (photo: Uttom Stephan Rozario) reporter, Dhaka

June 6, 2011

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Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists joined Christians in demanding capital punishment for culprits of a heinous Church bombing ten years ago. Some 100 people joined discussions and a candle-lit procession organized by Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) on June 3 at the Language Martyrs’ Memorial in Dhaka to mark the anniversary. In 2001, a fundamentalist group blew up a powerful bomb inside The Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at Baniarchar in southwestern Gopalgonj district. It was a Sunday and the blast killed 10 churchgoers and injured about 50. The blast struck in the church’s choir area where mostly young people were sitting. An initial government commission concluded that an internal feud between Christians was behind the blast. Local media refuted the report and a fresh probe was begun. It is still incomplete. The head of Islamic militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad Mufti Hannan later claimed responsibility. “It’s the 10th year we’ve gathered here to demand justice over the brutal attack. We don’t want to come here again to press government and concerned authorities to arrest the culprits and hand down death sentence,” said BCA secretary Nirmol Rozario, 55, a Catholic. Dhaka University (DU) vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique, a Muslim told the gathering, “I strongly condemn this heinous act and demand justice from government. The culprits should be punished to set an example to those who want to destroy communal harmony in Bangladesh.” Mezbahuddin, a Muslim and DU history department professor echoed. “Twelve times investigation officers were changed for this case and no justice has yet been done to the victims and their families. I demand that those also be punished who made such a farcical report,” he emphasized. Some relatives of the dead who joined the program voiced for justice. “I want to see the terrorists who killed my uncle punished. It will help me to some extent to forget the indelible loss,” said Rosemary Lawrence, 36. Related Report: No justice over church bombing nine years on
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