Miscreants on 30 October 2016 set fire to the old Durga temple in Paschimpara of Nasirnagar upazila. Almost everything in the temple was burnt to ashes. In 2021, the police submitted a chargesheet to the court, naming 13 persons. It is a matter of relief that, albeit delayed, at least one case has been settled.
One of the main preconditions of the rule of law is ensuring punishment for any crime that is committed. Unfortunately, there has been little punitive action in the attacks on the minority communities in the past. Our successive governments are more interested in putting the blame of communal violence on their political opponents. In the 2012 attack on the Buddhist community in Ramu, Cox's Bazar, many homes and temples were destroyed, but no one was punished. It is said that the trial could not be completed due to lack of witnesses.
In 2021, attacks were launched on Hindu temples and homes over a Quran being placed in a temple. It has been a year and a half since the incident, but the concerned persons have not been able to complete investigations as yet.
In the communal violence at Nasirnagar, one case has settled at least. This will give the affected members of the minority community some sort of assurance that they too have the right to justice. But it is also important to see if there are any others being the sentenced in the Nasirnagar incident, other than the convicted. Rather than fishing in murky waters, the government must find the criminals and punish them. No matter with which party the guilty is affiliated, they must be brought to justice. This must be done not in words, but in deeds.
Five of those convicted in the Nasirnagar incident of communal violence, are absconding. The law enforcement agencies must find them as soon as possible. Until the case is finally settled, it cannot be said that the criminals have been punished. The defendant's legal counsel has said they will appeal. In that case, it is the responsibility of the prosecution to ensure that the appeal is also dealt with speedily. An end must be brought to the culture of impunity.
The case under the ICT Act is still underway against Rasraj Das, the poor fisherman whose Facebook post reportedly led to the attack in Nasirnagar. He has to go to Chattogram every month to appear in court. Since the CID report proves the Facebook post was not his, what logic can there be for the case to continue?