Bangladesh: A mob of Muslims attacks four Christian families falsely accusing them of practicing witchcraft

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Bangladeshi Christians

A mob of Muslims attacks four Christian families in Bangladesh.

In keeping with details, four Christian families came under attack, in Kamarpara, in Panchagarh district. The Christians barely escaped death, when a mob of Muslims tried to lock them up inside their houses and set fire to the houses.

The incident took place on November 5, and reportedly the mob attacked the Christians over alleged accusation of committing witchcraft. It has been, alleged from the local Christians that it was a sectarian attack while they turned down the possibility of the accusations.

A Christian who was among those who were targeted, Rammi Das said, “For more than a year, Muslim youths from a neighbouring village accused us of practicing witchcraft and told us to leave the village. They abused us in public and threw bricks at our houses.” Rammi revealed that the neighbours came to their rescue and were able to pull them out from the burning buildings, somehow.

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57-year-old, Rammi Das said, “They wanted to kill us by burning us alive, but we managed to escape. We have lost everything.” Rammi, a cane worker by profession who filed a complaint in a local police station. He named, seven people in the FIR however, police has not arrested anyone so far. However, police say they are conducting an investigation into the incident. A local police official said, “The suspects have fled the area. We are helping to mediate for compensation.”

On the other hand, uncle of one of the suspects, Ainul Islam, said his nephew was being fallaciously blamed. “I know some youths including my nephew have had problems with Christians, but I don’t think they were behind the arson attack,” he said.

While, chairman of the union council, a local government body, Abul Hussain, said,
“Personally, I know the victims to be good people. For the past year, I have tried to calm the situation and have publically said the witchcraft accusations were false, but I didn’t think things would reach such an extreme. We are trying to resolve the matter without the need of a court case, so that Hindus, Muslims and Christians can live peacefully in the future.”

According to a careful estimate, there are about 300 Christians in Karmarpara. Majority of these Christians were from the Hindu Ksatriya (warrior) caste. Years ago, they had accepted Christianity, however, they frequently, come under attack and complain that they are often exploited and abused by local Muslims attributable to their poor socio- economic status.

Father Prodip Marnadi – Assistant parish priest at the Fatima Rani Catholic Church said, “We are also working with local leaders to seek legal action against the attackers.” Moreover, the local church officials say they are providing aid to the victimized Christian families.