Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some Muslims Attack Christians Over a Piece of Church Land in Bangladesh

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A mob of about 500 agitated Muslims physically attacked Catholics of Boldipukur Parish over a piece of land and left 50 aborginal Santal Catholics injured, 10 of them seriously, report CathNewsAsia and Asianews.

On March 20, Saturday, the pre-planned attack came when workers were constructing a wall on the Church compound adjacent to a Muslim high school. Aboriginal onlookers who gathered near the construction site became victims of this attack. Father Leo Desai, the parish priest, said that the attackers used sticks, bricks and knives. Father Silas Kujur, the assistant parish priest, who approached the site, was also injured.

For the last seven years, the land in question, although owned by the church, was claimed by the Muslim high school managing committee. Recently, the court gave a verdict in favour of the church. This enraged the Muslims, who, during Friday prayer gathering on March 19, agitated and gave slogans against Christians. The next day's attack followed this agitation.

Father Leo Desai, with help from a lawer sent by Bishop Moses Costa, CSC, of Dinajpur, filed complaints against the attackers. The police, though initially lethargic in preventing the attack, sprang into action later and looking for 17 Muslims who fled from their village.

Christ the Saviour Catholic Church in Boldipukur of Rangpur District, erected in 1951, has a Catholic population of over 3,500 -- most of whom are aboriginals.

It is noteworthy that another church land dispute with local mosque at Luxmibazar, Dhaka, resulted in Muslim mob attack on the Catholic church and school and two Protestant churches on April 28, 1998. The court in that case also had given verdict in favour of the church. Bookmark and Share