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Outrage at tribal woman's murder

Protesters demand killers of widowed mother be brought to justice reporter, Rajshahi

July 12, 2011

Around 300 people formed a human chain and held a protest today in northwestern Rajshahi district to demand the killers of a local tribal Santal woman be brought to justice. The protest was organized by the National Adivasi Parishad (NAP), a tribal rights forum working in northwestern Bangladesh. Mariam Murmu, 42, a Protestant Christian, was raped and killed on Sunday night at her father’s home in the village of Shimla Dighipara in Godagari sub-district. Her body was found hanging from a tree yesterday morning. “We condemn this barbaric killing,” said NAP president Anil Marandi. “The killers tried to cover their tracks trying to make it look like suicide. But the autopsy report states that Mariam was gang-raped then suffocated and later hanged.” A local Catholic priest, who didn’t want to be named, also condemned the killing. “It was a heinous murder and the people involved should be brought to trial and punished,” he said According to media reports, the killing could be connected to a land dispute involving the woman and her late husband’s relatives, media reported. Biswanath Marandi, brother of Murmu’s late husband Hopna Marandi who died 25 years ago, was arrested after William Marandi, the victim’s only son, accused him of involvement in the murder. Police have yet to identify other suspects.

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