Citizens demand exemplary punishment for perpetrators

Vandalised puja mandap at Jatra Mohan Sen (JM Sen) Hall in Chattogram on 15 October 2021
Prothom Alo

Prominent civil society members have staged a protest in the capital demanding speedy and exemplary punishment of the perpetrators of recent communal attacks in Bangladesh, reports UNB.

The protest came in the wake of a series of attacks on the minority Hindu people during their celebrations of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Hindu community in Bangladesh.

Under the aegis of Sampriti Bangladesh, a citizens’ platform promoting secularism, a large crowd gathered at Central Shaheed Minar in the capital on Monday afternoon and placed a seven-point demand for maintaining religious harmony in the country.

Holding placards and banners, the civil society activists demanded the necessary steps for the "complete eradication of fundamentalism" from the country.

A total of 89 non-communal and pro-liberation organisations expressed solidarity with the protesters, Sampriti said.

Sampriti Bangladesh convener Pijush Bandyopadhyay led the event, while member secretary Mamun Al Mahtab Swapnil delivered the introductory speech.

Dhaka University vice chancellor professor Akhtaruzzaman, former vice chancellor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University professor Kamrul Hassan Khan, Dhaka University Teachers’ Association president professor Nizamul Haque Bhuiyan also addressed the gathering.

Also present were Chandpur Science and Technology University VC Nasim Akhtar, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee assistant general secretary Nujhat Chowdhury, Projonmo 71 president Asif Munir Tonmoy, Muktijuddho Monch general secretary Al Mamun, and a number of religious leaders.

The recent communal attacks were an attempt to destroy the ideology of Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the spirit of the Liberation War, they said.

The speakers demanded quickest possible action against those involved in the recent and past communal clashes, repair of the damaged temples, and effective steps to deal with social media rumours.