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Dhaka Tribune

Law minister: Attackers on minority to face trial

Update : 13 Mar 2014, 08:22 PM

The law minister yesterday said the cases filed in connection with the attacks on the minority communities in the wake of the 10th parliamentary polls will be tried under Speedy Trial Tribunal Act.

“The prime minister has asked us to ensure justice as soon as possible and the process is going on,” he said while speaking at a programme titled ‘uprooting communal violence: role of the government and civil society’ organised by Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee at a city auditorium.

Law Minister Anisul Haq said that all the cases filed in connection with the attacks on the minorities by Jamaat-BNP men are in investigation stages.

The Law Ministry has requested the Home Ministry to complete the investigation quickly and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Personally, I think that the Special Powers Act should be enforced in this regard and thus maximum punishment can be ensured,” the law minister opined.

The speakers at the programme said that the minority people had fallen victim to violence since the Pakistan rule. They should be empowered socially, economically and politically to root out violence against them, the speakers added.

To protect the minority people, they said, the country needs to enact separate law, form designated commission and set up new ministry for the minority community.

“The victims always allege that the police do not arrest the accused and if arrested, they are released on bail. The existing laws can’t prosecute these offenders because the communal attacks are not simple murder, rape, torture, arson or looting. There are ulterior motives behind these attacks,” said Shahriar Kabir, acting president of Nirmul Committee.

He compared the ‘continuous and pre-planned attacks on the minority people especially the Hindus with ethnic cleansing. The present laws cannot try such kind of offences.

“Besides, the existing act cannot ensure justice for the victims. The offenders get released from the jail because of weak charge sheets and attack the plaintiffs,” he explained why a new act is necessary.

Former Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque said the perpetrators of the attacks on minority community can be punished under the penal court.

“Enacting a law is a complicated process. The problem is that the law is not enforced properly. If it is enforced properly, no new law is needed,” he said.

He criticised the investigation agencies for incomplete investigation, weak charge sheets as causes of no or partial justice.

“They press charges so poorly that the courts cannot but grant bail to serious offenders. Now-a-days we see the offenders get bail either from the lower court or the Higher Court whatever their crimes are,” he said.

“So, everyone should be accountable. The IOs, Public Prosecutors have to be liable if an offender of communal attack get bail,” he said.

State Minister for Social Welfare Promod Mankin, Advocate Rana Dasgupta and Aroma Dutt also spoke on the occasion. 

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