Repression of minorities continues to rise: Hindu Mahajote

Human chain protesting damage of temples in Baliadangi, Thakurgaon and eviction from Telegu colony in JatrabariPradip Sarkar

Leaders of the minority community have protested against the damaging of Hindu temples in Baliadangi upazila of Thakurgaon and the eviction from Telegu colony in Jatrabari of the capital. They said that there was no abating on the repression of the religious minority in various parts of the country. It was simply on a steady rise.

The Hindu community leaders made these statements while staging a human chain programme Friday morning in front of the National Press Club. The Jatiya Hindu Mahajote organised this programme to protest the damaging of five temples and 14 idols in three unions of Baliadangi upazila on 5 February. A call was made from the human chain for speedy trial of those involved in the attack.

Presiding over the event, president of the Jatiya Hindu Mahajote, Probhas Chandra Roy, said there was been no abatement of the repression of the minorities all over the country. The Hindus are being oppressed in various ways, their houses are being set on fire.

Political leaders often said that the Hindu community and other religious and ethnic minority communities in the country had no cause to worry. However, Probhas Chandra Roy said, it was only the minorities that were being harmed, not the majority. "We do not want to think of ourselves as the minority, but you make us think that way," he said. He said that till date no incident of repressing the minority community had been brought to justice.

Present at the gathering were cleaners of Jatrabari's Telegu colony. They complained that Dhaka South City Corporation has directed them to leave the place by today and tomorrow, Saturday. From Sunder, the city corporation would commence their eviction drive.

Presidium member of the Hindu Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad, Kajal Debnath, speaking at the event, said, "I visited the Telegu colony yesterday. A total of 1200 members of the Telegu community live there. Their lifestyles, mannerisms, eating habits, culture, everything is different. We should be ashamed for not standing by them. They have been fenced off separately. Our (city corporation's) attention goes there too? The entire city has been grabbed."

Kajal Debnath went on to say, if they stopped work today, no one's homes would be clean in Dhaka city. We will stage a sit in there. The bulldozers can go over our bodies. They you (Dhaka South City Corporation) can construct buildings there.

Telegu community member Prashad Das said, "They have given us two days' notice to leave. No one rents homes to us. Where will we go in such a short time?" He demanded that accommodation be first arranged for them before eviction.

Joint general secretary of the Hindu Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad, Manindra Kumar Nath, referring to the attack in Baliandangi, Thakurgaon, said such communal attacks are unacceptable. If such attacks continue, a greater movement will be taken up. He said if attempts were made to evict the Telegu community, a movement would be taken up there too.

The event was moderated by Jatiya Hindu Mahajote executive secretary general and spokesperson Palash Kanti Dey.