Violent attacks on religious minorities in recent days have evoked popular protests at home and aboard, and the minority community thinks it is an attempt to force them leave country like in 1971. They fear the extent of dreadfulness of attacks on the minorities might exceed what they had seen during 2001 and appealed to the international community apart from the political parties to look into the matter seriously.
“It’s an attempt to stamp out the existence of the minority community from here, force us leave country and loot minorities’ assets like in 1971. It’s an act of the defeated force of the Liberation War,” Advocate Rana Dasgupta told UNB on Saturday.
Rana Dasgupta, also general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad (BHBCOP), fears that the attacks might continue until the next national election is over.
“We fear they (attackers) might launch massive attacks on us exceeding the extent of dreadfulness of 2001,” he said.
Responding to a question, Rana Dasgupta said they are holding protest rallies across the country peacefully and democratically.
“We’ll hold a big rally in Engineers’ Institution on April 19. We’ll again call upon the international community to look into the matter,” he said.
The Parishad leaders have already requested the government and all democratic parties to take up a coordinated initiative to stop attack on the minorities and take stern actions against the attackers.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua said there are four reasons behind the attacks on minorities. “First of all, they (Jamaat-Shibir) want to take control over the assets of minorities pushing them out of the country and secondly they want to give a wrong message to the international community that minorities aren’t safe in Bangladesh.”
Barua said a religious harmony is prevailing in the country, which was absent during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government. “They want to destroy the religious harmony.”
He also said the entire nation is united against Jamaat-Shibir and they are trying to create divisions in the national unity. “The 14-party government is determined to ensure religious harmony and complete the trial of war criminals.”
Explaining the recent attacks, Rana Dasgupta said they had seen hartal in ‘90, ‘91, ‘92 and 2001. “But what we’ve seen following Sayeed’s verdict is simply horrible. They’ve targeted the minorities like 1971.”
He said some 1000-2000 people came under attacks in different ways and some 100 temples, mostly of Hindus, were attacked after the verdict. “They’re dreaming of the 1971 dream again.”
Meanwhile, Green Club of Bangladesh (GCB) and Media Forum for Human Rights and Environmental Development have put forward a six-point demand to the government that includes formation of special tribunals to try those involved in the attacks.
GCB general secretary Asish Kumar Dey placed the demands urging the government to complete the trial within 90 days and give proper compensation to the affected families of those killed and injured in the attacks.
Renouncing the word ‘minority’, renowned artist Ferdousi Priyobhashini on Friday, said, “If we all are united, we won’t be called minority.”
She further said, “Those who are carrying out the communal attacks indeed belong to the minority group. We can defeat them if we can be united.”
Priyobhashini observed that women and men are human beings and therefore, they must enjoy every basic right as a human being.
The opposition BNP has already blamed the government for the attacks on minorities and urged the government to book the attackers.
Home Minister Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, however, claimed that the allegation is totally baseless.
Earlier, in March 13, violent attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh in recent days have evoked popular protest in Delhi with residents of Jamia Nagar expressing strong condemnation and the protesters raising slogans against the government of Bangladesh.
The Assam unit of BJP has recently demanded that the Centre ask the Bangladesh government to stop attacks on Hindus by Jamaat-e-Islami activists after a special court in the country convicted leaders of the fundamentalist group of 1971 war crimes.
The saffron party’s demand came on a day when BJP activists’ attempt to cross the India-Bangladesh international border was foiled by the state police and Border Security Force (BSF) at Akhaura in Tripura.
BJP also planned the march from Akhaura to Dhaka by crossing the international border in protest against the attacks on Hindu minority in Bangladesh.
Source: News from Bangladesh