Islamists` issue death threats to 10 priests in Rangpur

27 November 2015

A priest in Rangpur has complained that 10 priests working in various churches in the northern district have received death threats after another member of the clergy being similarly threatened in Dianjpur.Father Reverend Barnabas Hemrom, the chief of the Baptist mission's Rangpur region, filed the complaint (general diary) at the Kotwali Police Station on Thursday. He received the threat by post on Wednesday afternoon.Father Hemrom told a postman had delivered the letter in a yellow envelop at 5pm on Wednesday. "Atul Roy, son of Ganesh Roy from Uttarparha village at Komalpur in Dinajpur Sadar Upazila," was the sender's address.The letter said, "This time our plan is to kill one by one all those who are preaching Christianity in Bangladesh." "Our country will be run only under Muslim laws," it said. The other nine priests named in the letter are of the Bible Church of God, Jehovah Shalom AG Church, Talitha Kumi Church, Tanka Baptist Church, Daudipukur Baptist Church, Dhhap Udaypukur Catholic Church, Hasya Talitha Kumi Church, Koilochia Bible Church and Saint Philip Neri Catholic Church.These churches are situated in Rangpur town, and the Pirgachha and Mithapukur Upazilas. Kotwali Police Station OC Abdul Kader Zilani said they learnt of the threat in the morning and a police piquet had been posted at Father Hemrom's church. Detectives had already begun investigating the incident, he added. Father 'Carlos' of a Catholic church at Birganj, in Dinajpur, had received a death threat in a text message on Wednesday, a week after unidentified assailants shot at Italian priest Piero Parolari in the district.Radical group Islamic State has reportedly claimed credit for the attack on Father Parolari and posted the threat to Father Carlos.Father Luke Sarkar, a Bangladesh national, had been knifed in his church in Pabna on Oct 5. He has recovered from his injuries. Police said they arrested the regional commander of banned outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in connection with the attack on Father Luke.

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