Christian school in Bangladesh attacked

About 200 people, described as extremist Islamists, attacked a Christian school in Bangladesh which welcomes children of all faiths, in response to local outrage prompted by rumours stating the school was forcing Muslim children to convert to Christianity.

World Watch Monitor reports that the attack was on the morning of 5 November 5 at the South Korean funded Steve Kim Mission School located in Konabari town. The students were not physically injured, but 12 of its 14 members of staff were beaten. Sumitra Kunda, 25, a female teacher, endured a serious head injury. Another teacher, John Prokash Sarker, said that he managed to run away from six madrassa students, armed with knives and machetes, after being forced out of his classroom.

The attackers vandalised classrooms, destroyed the bakery and stole several items including computers and projectors. They also set fire to the library, burnt Bibles, hymnals and chairs; then cut the electricity lines of the school and destroyed a generator.

The vandalism lasted for about an hour and a half, and during that time, “A wave of panic swept through the school and traumatized everyone. Many students became sick in the following days.”

The school authority filed a case against 25 people in local police station after the incident. “We have arrested 17 people including three madrassa teachers,” police officer Khandoker Rezaul Hasan told World Watch Monitor.