Journalists, activists and leaders of different socio-cultural organisations on Tuesday demanded government protection for bloggers, publishers, free-thinkers and people of different faiths who are being hacked to death by Islamist militants one after another.
A Unity and Solidarity Rally in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka was organised urging the government to identify and arrest the secret killers without harassing ordinary people, who are being arrested in thousands in the ongoing anti-militancy drive by law enforcement agencies.
Media Activists for Secular Bangladesh (MASB), a journalists’ platform, organised the rally which was presided over by Joint Secretary General of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and MASB coordinator Pulack Ghatack.
Secretary General of BFUJ Omar Faruque, former secretary general Abdul Jalil Bhuyian, former general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists Quddus Afrad, General Secretary of Dhaka Reporters Unity Razu Ahmed, Noted lyricist and Convenor Sangskriti Mancha Selim Reza, Joint Secretary of Sammilito Samajik Andalan Sanwar Hossain, President of Jubo Oikya Khairul Alam, General Secretary of the Dhaka City Unit of Ganatantri Party Minhaj Uddin Selim, General Secretary of Swadhinata Sangbadik Parishad Hamid Mohammad Jasim, Welfare Secretary of DUJ Ummul Wara Sweety, former general secretary of Crime Reporters Association Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Executive Member of Udich Shilpi Gosthi Shakil Oronno, Organiser of Samprodaikota O Jongibad Birodhi Sangbadik Manch Rajan Bhattachariya and representatives of different many other organisations addressed the rally expressing solidarity with the movement.
The speakers said the government did not take any action against Hefazat-e-Islam leader Allama Ahmed Shafi, who issued an edict publicly saying: “It has become a duty for the Muslims to kill the infidels.”
Hefazat has become a den of Islamist militants, but the government is not taking any action against its leaders. Rather, the fanatic Islamic organisation is getting government’s favour, the speakers alleged in the rally.
They said the anti-militancy drive cannot be a success if it is compromised with extremist organisations like Hefazat.