Leaders deplore condition of minorities 50 years after independence
The alliance of religious and racial minorities has asked the government to form a national commission and protection law to end discrimination and violence.
At a press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday, the alliance leaders deplored the condition of the minorities in Bangladesh, some 50 years after the achievement of independence, where secularism is one of the four pillars of the constitution, and urged the ruling Awami League to fulfil their promises regarding the minorities issued before the 11th parliamentary polls.
Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad leader advocate Rana Dashgupta, Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad President Milan Kanti Datta, former lawmaker Ushaton Talukder, and President of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma were present at the press conference, among others.
A total of 24 minority organizations and platforms expressed solidarity with the demands and signed the written statement.
If the demands are not met, the alliance will declare a long march towards Dhaka in February next year.
Rana Dashgupta read out the statement. He asked the government to take effective steps to end incidents of murder, intimidation, mob attacks and violence against the minorities, and ensure human rights, safety, and social dignity and justice.
The leaders also demanded separate land commissions for the minorities of the plains and the hills, and implementation of the Vested Property Return Act.
Replying to a query, Rana Dashgupta said the Facebook post given by Jhuman Das, a youth from Sunamganj now in jail in a case filed under the Digital Security Act 2018, had nothing to do with demeaning any religion.
"It is a matter of great regret. The main culprits are now free on bail while Jhuman is behind the bars. We have appealed to the High Court to look into the matter and will file a plea for his bail," he said, with a hope that Jhuman would be freed soon.
The alliance leaders said they would submit a memorandum to the prime minister to remind the ruling party about its pledges spelt out in its election manifesto. They will also launch a mass signature campaign.