Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Grave robbers shock relatives in Bangladesh

SALEEM SAMAD

Robbers stole 23 human skeletons from graveyards at a village in Gazipur, north of the Bangladesh capital, leaving scores of relatives in shock.

Zaher Ali was found crying beside his elder brother’s grave following the bizarre discovery. “My brother died nearly six months ago. Miscreants stole his skeleton from the grave,” was speaking to reporters in tears.

The relatives are in pain and agony that they would never be able to pay respect to their near and dear ones. Like other religions, graves are sacrilegious for the Muslims and desecration of a grave is attributed as a sin.

Umar Ali, chairman of the graveyard supervisory committee of the village Gojarichala said he found 23 graves were exhumed to the spot and the skeletons are missing.

The committee chairman said there are about 280-300 graves at the graveyard and grave robbers have stolen these skeletons in the last few days. He believes that the thieves robbed the skeletons in the darkness of the night.

Abdul Baten, police chief of Gazipur on Tuesday rushed to the place of occurrence after locals reported the heist. He said police has been deployed and will take necessary measures in this regard.

The rapacious thieves steal human skeletons for a lucrative underground market which is abroad. Nobody could however provide accurate information on the final destination of the bones.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow, is an award winning investigative reporter based in Bangladesh. He specializes on Islamic terrorism, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. Ending his life in exile from Canada he has recently returned home. He was expelled in 2004 for whistle-blowing of the safe sanctuary in Bangladesh, of the Jihadist leaders who fled during Anglo-US invasion Afghanistan. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com