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Bangladesh ruling party activists are trying to evict a Christian family at Dhaka. The family came gurfire attack on October 22 evening. When drawn attention of the Home Minister to the incident, she denied existence of any persecution of minoritiies in Bangladesh, and refused to take any action regarding the case.


A Catholic family in Dhaka was attacked by local Muslims at around 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2009. Some people fired guns at the family’s home.

Rita Gomes, the elder daughter of the family, said, "Our Muslim neighbor, Kazi Babul's wife and her allies have been trying to evict us from the house for more than a year."

"On Oct. 8, 2009, a group of 150 Muslims came to our house and forcibly put up a wall and took possession of our land, in the presence of the local polic."

According to Ms. Gomes, there is an injunction from the court against Kazu Babul’s claim on the land. Still, they put up a wall against our pleadings, thus violating the court order in front of the police.

“When I requested them not to do that, they hit me in the presence of the police, who remained silent. I felt very helpless at that time; I realized that even the law enforcement agency people wouldn't come to our help."

Jhumur Gomes, the younger daughter of the family, said, "Our family is in great danger; we don’t know what will happen next or if they will come and kill us."

Rita Gomes added, "I am very afraid that they may kill us or rape me and my younger sister; they are really very ferocious. Our other neighbors, another Catholic family, were forced to sell their land, and went to India.”

Bangladesh persecution of christians
Rita Gomes pointing to a nameplate of Kazi Babul
with "Allahu Akbar" on it at their house-gate. It
rep
laced a previous nameplate with Cross on it.

She added, "The Muslim neighbors also proposed for us to sell our land to them, but where will we go? As we are Christians, no-one is coming to help us; all the Muslims are on their side, because they have money and are powerful politically. They have strong ties with the leading political party, the Bangladesh Awami League party that is ruling Bangladesh."

According to Rita, there was a nameplate for their house with a Cross on the main door, which Muslim invaders removed and replaced with a nameplate of Kazi Babul with 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is great) on it. They also blocked the road, confining them to the house for days.

Sunil Gomes, the elderly and sick father of Rita Gomes, said, "I want to live in peace. If something bad happens to my daughters, if they get raped or killed, I can't take it. I have heart disease and am already sick and bed-ridden."

His wife, Usha Gomes, said, "I helplessly watched the crowd beat my older daughter, Rita, when she protested against putting a wall on our land. Christ is our only hope now, the only one who can save us from this danger."

Home Minister ignores

The endangered family voted for the Awami League Party, currently in power, in the last parliamentary elections with high hopes that it will provide them protection and security. Instead, “Now the political activists of the party are using their political clout to persecute us and steal our lands”, said Rita.

“They are rich Muslims, large in number; they want to evict us from our own land, as they did to our Christian neighbors, forcing them to sell their land and to leave for India. We are now fully cornered here in Bangladesh, and we do not have security of life."

Assisted by this scribe, the threatened family was able to have a meeting with the Home Minister, Advocate Sahara Khatun, at her residence on October 25 evening.

Rita Gomes narrated the incident to Advocate Khatun, explaining how they had hoped for protection and security to their family when they voted for this Govt. And now the activist of the party she voted for are trying to evict them from their land.

When drawn her attention to the prevailing persecution and insecurity of the minority communities in Bangladesh, the minister denied the existence of any such thing. Instead, Advocate Khatun, and her party activist present there, questioned this ascribe as to why he was sending news of such incidents to outside the country to defame the nation.

This scribe tried to explain the ongoing persecution of minorities in Bangladesh, based on recently documented cases, including persecution of 25 families of Kolapara police station. But the Home Minister immediately ignored the threatened family and got herself busy over the phone.

She completely ignored this grave incident, even refused to make phone to the relevant Police Station, while she took immediate action for other minor complaints that she received over the phone, including confiscation of a passport by the immigration authority.

Clearly the persecuted minorities in Bangladesh cannot get protection and justice, neither from the Police nor the Govt.

Human rights activist Annie Halder said, "The persecution of minorities is growing nowadays. Recently, there was a Christian evangelist, Swopon Mondol, who was killed, and now there are attacks against this Christian family, and there are many attacks on Hindus. The government should take immediate action to secure the rights of minorities."


William Gomes is a former Muslim, freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist. He can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .