Protesters call for punishment of culprits, law to protect minorities
Protests over the recent attacks on the Hindu community continued across the country for the sixth day on Tuesday.
Speakers at various programs demanded that the perpetrators of communal violence be brought to justice, as well as other measures to protect minorities.
The Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) demanded exemplary punishment for those involved in the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja venues across the country. They also urged the government to enact a new law to ensure religious freedom for everyone.
They voiced the demands during a human chain at the base of the Aparajeo Bangla sculpture on the DU campus. Over a hundred teachers from various departments of the university participated in the program, which was presided over by DUTA President Prof Rahmat Ullah and conducted by General Secretary Prof Nizamul Hoque Bhuiyan.
Condemning the violence, DU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof M Akhtaruzzaman said: “The Durga Puja celebration of this country was a model of secularism for the entire world. This festival is supposed to be open to people of all religions.
“The rise of communal evil in various parts of the country is disgraceful and cannot be tolerated. We urge the government to identify the perpetrators immediately and bring them to book,” he added.
Former VC of Jagannath University Prof Mijanur Rahman, said perpetrators of communal violence often get away without punishment, and this needs to be stopped.
Prof M Wahiduzzaman, former VC of Noakhali Science and Technology University and a teacher of DU’s Institute of Education and Research, urged the government to immediately enact a law that effectively discourages communal violence.
“Compensation must be ensured for all the victims of the recent attacks,” he added.
Students and teachers of university’s Theatre and Performance Studies department staged a street drama titled “Dekhte Ki Pao, Purche Bangla?” (Can you see that Bangla is burning?) to protest the attacks.
Leaders and activists of the Progressive Student Alliance brought out a procession inside the DU campus condemning the recent communal violence. The Khulna University Teachers’ Association also condemned the attacks on the Hindu community, specifically mentioning the incidents in Comilla and Rangpur.
Juba Adhikar Parishad brought out a silent procession from the National Press Club area. Earlier in the morning, members of civil society had organized rally in the same area.
Moreover, rights activists under the banner “Poets, litterateur, artists and journalists against communal terrorism” organized a rally in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh.