Two members of an Islamic militant group in Bangladesh have been charged with the attempted murder of a priest and the bombing of a Hindu temple in Bangladesh. In November, the militants shot an Italian priest working in Bangladesh. The priest survived the shooting, but had to be rushed back to Italy for treatment. Since then, leaders of the small Christian community in Bangladesh have been under treat from Islamic militant groups. Over the holiday period, church leaders received death threats through text message, phone calls, and letters. Does this mean that religious intolerance in Bangladesh is on the rise?
1/8/2016 Bangladesh (UCAN) – Two members of a banned Islamic militant group have been arrested and charged for the shooting of an Italian missionary priest and the bombing of a Hindu temple in Bangladesh last year.
Muhammad Sarwar and Abdur Rahman, alleged members of the Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh, were arrested Jan. 4 and appeared before the Chief Judicial Magistrate court in Dinajpur two days later, a police official said.
“Abdur Rahman has confessed his involvement in the temple bombing before the court,” Redwanur Rahim, Dinajpur police spokesman, told ucanews.com.
Rahim said he expects more arrests in the cases will be forthcoming.
On Nov. 18, three attackers shot Italian Father Parolari Piero, 64, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, on the outskirts of Dinajpur town.
Father Peiro, a doctor, worked in Bangladesh for more than three decades. He was flown to the capital Dhaka the same day and then to Italy on Nov. 30 for treatment and recovery.
Initially, the group that calls itself the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting. However, the government and police officials pointed finger at local militants.
Father Silas Kujur, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Church in Dinajpur, filed a case against unknown attackers on behalf of the diocese Nov. 18.
Since the attack on Father Piero, more than three dozen priests, two bishops, protestant ministers and Christian aid workers have received death threats from alleged Islamic militants through mail, phone calls and text messages.