Friday, June 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Protests gain momentum against communalism

DU protesters issue ultimatum till October 31 to see whether their demands are met
Update : 30 Dec 2021, 03:10 PM

People from all walks of life including students, academicians, cultural activists and showbiz celebrities on Wednesday continued to condemn the recent attacks on the Hindus across the country, demanding justice.

They blamed the law enforcers’ inaction, the government’s patronizing of the religious fanatics, and the culture of impunity for the recurrence of persecution against the minority communities.

Meanwhile, police announced that they identified the man, who had kept a Quran on an idol at a Puja venue in Comilla that sparked the countrywide violent protests by fanatics.

A number of people were arrested in Noakhali, Rangpur and Gazipur on Wednesday for their involvement in the attacks.

Also Read- Police: Comilla resident Iqbal placed the Quran on a Puja idol

On the other hand, volunteers and journalists from Dhaka and abroad gathered in Pirganj of Rangpur where dozens of Hindu houses were vandalized, looted and torched on Sunday. 

‘Govt patronises communal powers’

Gonojaoron Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker blamed the government for the recent spate of communal attacks across the country, alleging that it patronised the communal powers at different times.

“The religious fanatics got the courage to carry out attacks on the minority communities since the government fosters them,” he said while addressing a protest rally in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh on Wednesday.

Gonojaoron Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker speaking at the protest event against the recent communal attacks at Shahbagh in Dhaka on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Members of left-leaning parties, students, teachers, and cultural activists gathered under the banner of “Bangladesh against communal violence” in condemnation of the recent attacks.

The protesters demanded the arrest of the perpetrators who fuelled others and demanded a speedy trial.

They also pressed the seven-point demands which included the cancelation of Islam as the state religion.

Also Read- Rangpur arson attack: 11 more arrested in 24 hours

According to Joyjit Datta, organizing secretary of Jagannath Hall unit Chhatra League and spokesperson of the protest, their seven-point demands were cut to three points as the government has already initiated action.

He said that the DU protesters would wait till October 31 to see whether their demands were met.

Their demands include ensuring the highest punishment for the perpetrators, compensation for the victims, repairing the damaged temples, forming a minority protection commission, adequate allocation in the national budget for the religious minorities and turning the Hindu Welfare Trust into a foundation.

In Satkhira, the district unit of Workers’ Party condemned the recent communal violence on Wednesday.

They demanded the arrest of everyone behind the incident and provide compensation to everyone affected in the incident.

In Jhenaidah, a human chain program was held against communal violence with the slogan “Wake up, resist, stand up against communal forces”.

Sampriti Bangladesh and Bangladesh Gram Theatre organized the program at the city's post office on Wednesday morning.

Protests in Kolkata

The people of West Bengal demanding justice for the communal attacks protested in front of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata on Wednesday.

However, Kolkata police detained 94 people during the protest.

Also Read- Rangpur arson attack: 11 more arrested in 24 hours

On the other hand, 60 eminent citizens, including renowned writers, professors, artists, social workers and journalists, in Kolkata also condemned and protested the recent attacks on the Hindu community in Bangladesh.

Demonstrators protest with different placards against the recent communal attacks at Shahbagh in Dhaka on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

In a statement on Tuesday, they urged the Bangladesh government to ensure the safety of the Hindus. 

Also Read- Bangladesh observes Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Lakshmi Puja, Prabarana Purnima

Meanwhile, many Hindus were seen commenting on the Facebook page posts of Indian High Commission in Dhaka seeking justice over the communal violence.

Celebrities condemn on social media

Many film stars and celebrities voiced their concern over the communal tensions that gripped Bangladesh over the past few days following allegations of the holy Quran being dishonoured at a Puja pavilion on October 13.

Well-known actress Subarna Mustafa, also a member of parliament from a reserved seat, said on her Facebook account: “Religious extremists have always tried to taint Bangabandhu's secular Sonar Bangla. Now, we need to start a new war to free the country from the hands of the miscreants.”

“Bangladesh is now digitalized. You are all identified, you will be brought to justice. The days of tolerance are over,” she added.

Popular filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farook said on Facebook: “The incidents need to be properly investigated and prompt actions should be taken against persons involved with the attacks. Proper steps are to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.”

Also Read- Maizbhandari: Fanatics are enemies of Islam

Popular film actor Jaya Ahsan has changed her Facebook profile picture to black. She also posted a picture of the fire in Rangpur and wrote: "This death-valley is not my country. The exultation of these executioners is not my country. This vast crematorium is not my country. This bloody slaughterhouse is not my country.”

No religion ever teaches revenge, said Bidya Sinha Saha Mim on her Facebook account. “I am demanding a fair investigation and trial against all communal terrorism.

“One more thing, if the country belongs to all of us, then there should be no word for 'minority'. And if we have to talk about numbers, then only good people in the world should be the 'majority'," she added.

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