Leaders of religious minorities in Bangladesh have threatened a ‘long march’ to protest growing atrocities on them.
They said that the march will start from the port city of Chittagong and end in capital Dhaka.
Speaking at a rally in Chittagong , Rana Das Gupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad (BHBCUC), said the minorities will go for the long march if violence against them did not stop immediately.
He urged the Hasina government to form a commission to investigate all the attacks on the minority people of B’desh since 2012.
Nearly 500 people of 10 associations — representing minority groups — took part in the programme.
Former Supreme Court Justice Shamsuddin Manik, a guest speaker at the event, thundered :” Bangladesh will never be Pakistan, Bangladesh is a country of Communal harmony .”
But such hopes are belied by government statistics — at least 17 people belonging to religious minorities have been killed in sectarian violence since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in Bangladesh.
The BHBCUC demanded that the state puts an end such attacks on minority communities, which happened through systematic spreading of rumours that were seen as “hurting religious sentiment”.
According to BHBCUC, besides the 17 killings, there were at least 10 cases of attempt to murder of minority people , 11 cases of threat to murder, several cases of rape and gang rape and torture that has left 30 victims and at least three cases of suicide by minority girls and 23 cases of abduction by force.
34 minority people have been threatened to leave Bangladesh and 23 cases of attacks on temples have been reported, said BHBCUC president Rana Dasgupta.
Vandalism was carried out at Borhanuddin of Bhola, Gangachara of Rangpur, Nasirnagar of Brahmanbaria, Chiribandar of Dinajpur, Santhia of Pabna and Ramu- Ukhiya-Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh through spreading rumours of defaming religion using hacked Facebook accounts and making fake screenshots.
The culprits behind the misdeeds are eluding arrest, said Rana Dasgupta, General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC).
Bangladesh Hindu, Bouddha, Christian Oikya Parishad staged demonstrations in Dhaka and Chattogram, protesting recent communal attacks across the country on Saturday morning 10 am to 12 noon.
A group of Oikya Parishad activists gathered in front the National Museum in Shahbagh in Dhaka around 10:00am for two hours and held a rally there.