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Tribals demand justice for killings

Claim mob attack in which 4 laborers died was sectarian

Tribal people yesterday protest recent killings Tribal people yesterday protest recent killings
  • by ucanews.com reporter, Rajshahi
  • Bangladesh
  • May 21, 2012
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Hundreds of people have staged protests in several districts in the northwest of the country to demand justice for four tribal laborers murdered earlier this month.

Protesters formed human chains in 16 districts and handed over letters to local government officials demanding the arrest and punishment of those responsible, and compensation for the victims’ families.

The protest was organized by the Jatiya Adivasi Forum (JAF), a national tribal rights group.

On May 4, a mob of around 150 armed men attacked 15 laborers working for Abdus Sattar, a local farmer, in a rice field in Chakgopal in Naogaon district.

Local villagers say Sattar was involved in a land dispute and that the assailants worked for his rivals.

Four men, all local tribal Christians, were killed and dozens of the combatants were injured during the clash.

Sattar later filed a murder case against his rivals and police arrested four people.

However, tribal villagers say the motive behind the attack was sectarian and that most of the assailants have yet to be arrested.

Anil Marandi, a tribal Santal and JAF spokesman, said tribals in the area have been living in fear since the attack and can’t move freely.

“For a long time now we have been deprived of our rights. If officials do not help us, we will have to take to the streets and fight for them,” he said at one of yesterday’s protests.

Local police say they are still investigating the incident.

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