Attack On Hindus
Protesters observe half-day hunger strike
Place 8-point demand
Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha-Christian Oikya Parishad including various organizations such as International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), Bangladesh Workers' Party on Saturday held a half-day hunger strike and a sit-in protest at Shahbagh in the capital demanding exemplary punishment of the attackers on the Hindu community.
They started the programme at 6:00am and ended at around 1:00pm. The protesters broke the hunger strike at around 12:30pm by drinking water offered by Khushi Kabir, a human rights activist.
The protesters placed an 8-point demand to the government including demand to setting up of a judicial commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe communal violence in various districts of the country, to rebuild all the temples, houses damaged by the communal attack, rehabilitate the homeless, provide proper compensation to the affected traders, provide medical treatment to the injured and pay at least Tk 20 lakh to each family of the victims, to immediately arrest the attackers and their conspirators through objective neutrality and form special tribunals under the Special Powers Act and Anti-Terrorism Act to ensure their punishment as soon as possible.
The protesters also asked the government to take immediate and punitive action against those who have neglected their duties in the administration and law enforcement agencies and to take political action against the people's representatives who have not come forward to confront the communal terrorists despite the clear instructions of the Prime Minister.
The organizations announced a procession towards the Prime Minister's Office in February next year.
The speakers said their rally aimed to re-establish the constitution of 1972.
Iskcon General Secretary Charu Chandra Das Bramahachari marked the culture of impunity as the main reason behind such repeated violence against minority in the country.
"If the miscreants are not brought to justice, we will go for tougher movement. We will not go to India. We will stay there," he added.
He demanded death penalty of the attackers on temples and houses of Hindus.
Expressing solidarity with the protesters, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, founder of Ganashasthaya Kendra, asked the government not to harass the people who are not involved in the violence.
"Identify the actual attackers and ensure justice," he added.
He further urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit the houses of the victims and express her condolences.
Mostafa Mohsin Montu, former MP and incumbent General Secretary of Gana Forum, said many communal incident took place during the reign of Awami League but no conspirators involved was arrested and got punished.
Maulana Syed Rezaul Haque Chadpuri said the violence took place across the country was completely pre-planned.
"This is the time to form 'Hindu-Buddha-Christian-Muslim Oikya Parishad'," he added.
Prof Neem Chandra Bhowmik, president of the Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, said they will announce stronger movement if proper actions against the attackers are not taken.
Fazle Hossain Badsha, a member of the parliament, asked the government to stop ' politics of accusation.'
"Bring the communal attacks to an end by ensuring justice," he added.
AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, a retired judge of the Appellate Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court, expressed solidarity with the agitating protesters.
Questioning the political role of the ruling party Awami League, Educationist Momtaz Latif asked where the leaders and activists of Awami League, Chhatra League, Juba League were during the attack.
"Awami League, Chhatra, Juba League should be aware before the incident took place," she added.
She asked the Prime Minister and her party to beg apology to the harmed people.
Sultana Kamal, former adviser in the caretaker government of Bangladesh, said, "It's a matter of sorrow that we couldn't resist such violent attacks."
The speakers at the rally demanded abolition Islam as the state religion.
After the sit-in programme, the protesters brought out a short rally.