Fifty of these incidents took place on religious institutions and temples while 2734.81 acres of land were grabbed by local musclemen, says Hindu alliance
Sahidul Hasan Khokon, Dhaka: According to secretary general of Bangladesh National Hindu Mahajote Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, there have been 1,792 incidents of persecution against people of religious minorities in Bangladesh in the last 11 months.
He said this at a press conference today at National Press Club in Dhaka while quoting various sources from newspapers and social media as well as sources from the Hindu Mohajote (an alliance of 24 Hindu organizations in Bangladesh).
Of these 1,792 occurrences, 50 took place on religious institutions and temples while 2734.81 acres were grabbed by local musclemen.
He also said that the Hindu Mohajote was respectful of all religions and religious opinions. Members of the group also met leaders of all big political parties in Bangladesh over the matter and discussed various issues with the Prime Minister.
After the national parliament election in 2001, the Hindu community was largely suppressed. The then government did not do anything to bring any justice in cases of crimes against humanity.
The Hindu community thinks there is a lack of justice and an absence of Hindu leadership in the parliament for political purposes. They also feel that the community is under repeated attacks.
Pramanik said that leaders representing Hindus in Parliament would be confirmed to protect the existence of the community.
Executive president of National Hindu Mahajote, advocate Dino Bandhu Roy and senior vice president Dr Sonali Dad were present at the Press conference.
Minorities Rights Forum urges government to ensure equal rights
The Minorities Rights Forum Bangladesh (MRFB) on Friday urged the government to ensure standards of living, rights and safety for minorities of the country as well as equal rights in social, economic and political sectors.
The call came during a round table discussion titled ‘National Parliament Election and Minority Rights’ at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka.
Leaders and members of MRFB along with representatives of different minority groups participated in the conference.
Pankaj Bhattacharya, President of Oikya NAP, said violation of minority rights was a national issue and the state remained unconcerned.
He said a total of 8,000 incidents of violence were yet to put on trial and 20,000 marked criminals, who were responsible for these incidents, were roaming freely.
“The state has obtained the role of oppressor. Violence against minorities of Nasirnagar was committed under the nose of the UNO and other government officials. They cannot deny the liabilities of the crime,” said the Oikya NAP chief.
Pankaj Bhattacharya further questioned the legality of the participation of Jamaat-e-Islami in the national election and remarked that state can never be safe for minorities if such a party exists and ever comes to power.
“Why a pro-liberation war government is giving floor to such a party?” he said.
Freedom fighter and MRF trustee Ashalata Baiddya stressed on the importance of forming a ministry for minorities saying that in its absence, no minority community would exist in the future.
MRFB Joint Secretary Banani Biswas said if minorities of Bangladesh stay united they will surely attain their rights.
Dr Nasreen Ahmed, pro vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, said, “We are living in a time where religion is being used as political weapon. No religion teaches us to discriminate against others.”
MRFB put forward a set of demands including forming a minorities commission with judicial power, reservation of 15 per cent seats for minorities in the national parliament and increasing the minimum wage of tree plantation workers.
In addition they also requested to resolve the complexity over the Enemy Property Act.
MRFB also announced they would conduct more programmes before the 11th parliamentary election.