By Worthy News Staff
DHAKA, BANGLADESH (Worthy News)-- Police in Bangladesh were still searching Thursday, November 5, for a young Christian girl who was abducted and forced to convert to Islam and marry one of her kidnappers.
However police and rights investigators said the search for nearly 12-year-old Silvia Merry Sarker has been hampered by a court decision to release detained suspects on bail.
Four Muslim men abducted eighth-grade student Sarker on July 30 as she made her way home from school in Sujankathi village in Barisal district in southern Bangladesh, said her father, Julian Sarker.
Police officials said they detained three suspects, but were soon forced to release them on bail. Attorney Rabindra Ghosh, president of Bangladesh Minority Watch, said in published remarks that the suspects are now "threatening the victim's family to withdraw the case."
Sarker filed a case under the Women and Children Repression Act against Al-Amin Faria, 24, Shamim Faria, 22, Sahadat Faria, 20, and Sattar Faria, 50. "My daughter was abducted by Faria with the help of his cousins and other relatives,” said Sarker in a statement distributed by Christian news agency Compass Direct News.
Sarker said the men abducted his daughter initially to “indulge Al-Amin Faria’s evil desire.” Later she was forced to convert to Islam and marry Al-Amin Faria, which Sarker said was part of an attempt to take over his land and property.
It comes amid mounting concerns over attacks against minority Christians in predominantly Islamic Bangladesh.