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Muslims torch Christians' houses

Several people badly hurt, their houses and valuables wrecked

Muslims torch Christians' houses
A burned-out Christian house reporter, Thakurgaon

March 8, 2011

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Seven houses were burnt and several people badly injured after a group of Muslims attacked a Christian village in northwestern Bangladesh yesterday. A group of Muslims quarreled with predominantly Catholic Christian villagers in Banglagar in Thakurgaon district, part of Dinajpur diocese on March 7, triggered by ongoing land disputes. Later they attacked poor villagers with sticks and sharp weapons and also set their homes on fire. The attack left seven people badly wounded and their homes and valuables worth several hundred thousand taka (US$ 1= 70 taka) burnt to ashes. The injured people are being treated at nearby Ranishonkoil sub-district health complex. Sabina Akter, 37, a Muslim nurse at the health complex said, “We’ve 6 people- 4 male and 2 female admitted here who have serious injuries in chest, head, back and other places.” Father Anthony Sen, parish priest of Thakurgaon parish, said: “After we called the police and informed about the attack the culprits fled.” Father Sen, secretary of diocesan justice and peace commission also visited the place and distributed 40 kilos of rice and 9 blankets among the victims. One of the villagers filed a case against the perpetrators, with the diocese and local Caritas wing to provide legal assistance. Soon afterwards, local police visited the village and assured the victims of compensation and punitive measures against the culprits after proper investigation. However, several villagers said they fear further attacks might take place. Father Sen said land dispute with the Muslims is one of major challenges they often have to face. Related reports Rights activists have to fight for justice Catholics fight dowry demands and land grabs Catholics join fight against land grabbers BA13561.1644
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