‘Repeated attacks on Hindus are government's failure’
The repeated attacks on members of the Hindu community over the past week are evidence of the government’s failure and negligence, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury has said.
“Why have none of the public representatives visited the locations of the attacks?” he asked at a press conference at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The press conference was organized to protest against recent attacks and vandalism in different districts, most recently Gaibandha.
Dr Zafrullah complained that leaders and activists of the major opposition party BNP were yet to stand by the affected minorities.
“BNP should show a little more courage. I urge them to go to every affected place. The country is yours [BNP’s] too and the people of the country love you, so do not be afraid of any threats. It will be better if you stand by the victims,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of being respectful to all religions.
Junaid Saki, chief coordinator of Gono Songhoti Andolon, questioned how the attacks could repeatedly be carried out if the law enforcement agencies, the government and local administrations were carrying out their duties.
“The incidents don’t seem to be isolated. Rather, they seem to have been planned to damage the goodwill of the country,” he said.
The speakers expressed concerns over how police were tackling the situation. Under the supervision of Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, a group of people visited some of the affected locations and shared their experiences at the press conference.
Barrister Mira Arman, one of the speakers, said: “Many people had tried to contact the local administration and police about their apprehension of being attacked beforehand. Either the number was found to be switched off or they said there was a lack of manpower to combat the attack.”
Advocate Hasnat Kayum said many people were traumatized and too afraid of further violence to discuss their experiences in the attacks.
“The country failed to keep its promise to the people. These incidents only can be interpreted as the country becoming an anti-people state,” said Nayeem Jahangir of Bhashani Onushari Porishod.
As many as 61 cases have been filed so far in connection with attacks on puja mandals, temples, houses and businesses in parts of the country over a controversial Facebook post on October 10. Altogetherl 450 people have been arrested from different places on suspicion of being involved in the communal violence, according to Police Headquarters data from Monday.