Platform’s Chittagong unit threatened to start long march towards Dhaka if miscreants were not punished
The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad has staged demonstrations at Dhaka’s Shahbagh intersection, protesting the recent attacks on minority communities in different parts of the country.
Leaders and activists of the organization gathered in front of the National Museum on Saturday with placards and banners, reports UNB.
They also brought out a procession at around 11am, carrying banners with slogans like “Stop communalism: Wake up brave Bangali”, “Stop using Facebook for communal attacks” inscribed on them.
The procession ended in front of Dhaka Club at around 12:30pm.
Addressing the rally, Oikya Parishad leaders claimed that they were living amid uncertainty as the “government has failed to protect them”.
The protesters demanded an end to attacks on minority communities, which they claimed were done through spreading rumours of “hurting religious sentiments”.
They also asked the government to form a commission to investigate all such attacks taking place since 2012.
Nearly 500 people of 10 associations — representing minority groups — took part in the protest program.
Oikya Parishad President Dr Sonali Das, Presidium Member Sadhan Kumar Mondol and Vice President Mithu Ronjon Dev, among others, addressed the rally.
Long march from Chittagong towards capital
Meanwhile, in Chittagong, members of the Oikya Parishad threatened to initiate a long march towards the capital from the port city if the perpetrators behind the attacks on minority communities were not brought to book and tried.
The platform issued the threat during a sit-in program held at the city’s New Market intersection on Saturday morning.
Several hundred leaders and activists of the platform gathered in front of the New Market intersection at 11am with placards and banners.
“We want investigations and trial over the persecution of the minority communities of the country. Tough punishment should be meted out to the people involved with such attacks.
“We also demand the release of the people arrested on fabricated charges. Also, the hackers should be punished,” said the platform’s General Secretary Rana Dasgupta while addressing the sit-in protest.
“We will go for tougher programs if our demands are ignored. We will begin a long march towards Dhaka from Chittagong, if necessary,” said Dasgupta.
“The people who think that the minorities will be forced to leave the country in the face of persecution are living in a fool’s paradise. We will put up a strong resistance whenever and wherever minority communities are attacked,” he added.
Expressing solidarity with the gathering, poet and journalist Abul Momen said that communalism had taken roots in politics and society and the nation was far from the goal of building a humane and democratic Bangladesh.
“We did not expect such a Bangladesh. The persecution of ethnic and religious minorities has increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Momen said.
“We want to return to the constitution of ’72. The attacks on minority communities should be investigated earnestly,” said Prof Jinobodhi Bhikshu.
A procession was brought out after the sit-in program which paraded different strategic points of the city.