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Protests proliferate against communal violence

Published : 19 Oct 2021 10:45 PM | Updated : 21 Oct 2021 12:18 PM
  • People of all walks come forward against the communal violence
  • Call for ensuring safety and security of the religious minorities 
  • Demand for stern action against anarchists, rumour-mongers

Almost all the progressive and secular forces in the country, including different socio-political, cultural organizations and academic institutions have vehemently protested against the communal attacks on the Hindu community.

They also took to the streets in protest against such heinous acts and demanded safety and security of the religious minorities as well as punitive measures against those who are involved in the violence, attacks, vandalism, and spreading of rumours with ill motives of destroying the communal harmony of the country.

Besides, the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also taken various initiatives for the protection, safety, and security of the Hindu community as well as for the arrest and punishment of the culprits involved in such crimes.  

As part of their moves, the ruling Awami League on Tuesday brought out peace processions, held rallies titled, 'Sampriti Samabesh' (rally for harmony) in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country in protest against the recent communal  violence in several areas of the country.

The ruling party held a rally in front of its Bangabandhu Avenue central office with a vow to resist communal terrorist acts in the country.

As part of the countrywide programmes, AL held the rally and brought out peace procession centrally in the capital. AL and its associate bodies arranged identical programmes at district, city, and Upazila levels.

Since the morning, AL and its associate and like-minded bodies assembled at the Bangabandhu Avenue from different parts of the capital by holding procession and chanting slogans against such acts of violence.

Hundreds of leaders and workers of Dhaka city north and south units of AL, Awami Jubo League, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Awami Swechchhasebak League, Sramik League, Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League, Krishak League, and different other organizations gathered at the avenue to join the rally.

Bangabandhu Avenue, Gulistan, Noor Hossain Square (Zero Point) turned into a human sea at around 11am. Slogans against communal violence reverberated around the area.

After a brief rally at Bangabandhu Avenue, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the peace procession.

He urged the leaders and workers of the party and associate bodies as well as the conscious citizens of the country to make united resistance against communalism.

"Today communal forces are carrying out attacks on Hindu community in our country, it could create problems of our Muslim brothers in India. We will have to make united resistance against such evil elements," he said.

AL Presidium Members Dr Abdur Razzaque, Matia Chowdhury, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Joint General Secretaries Mahbubul-Alam Hanif and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Organizing Secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, Mirza Azam and Afzal Hossain, Deputy Publicity Secretary Aminul Islam and Deputy Office Secretary Sayem Khan, Central Working Committee Members Abdul Awal Shamim and Shahabuddin Farazi were present, among others.

After the rally, a peace procession was brought out from Bangabandhu Avenue and it ended at Central Shaheed Minar after parading different city streets.

After the AL programme, its associate bodies including Awami Jubo League, staged a separate programme in protest against the communal attacks on the Hindu community.

According to sources, the Awami League and its different associate bodies also held rallies and brought out processions in Rangpur, Manikganj, Naogaon, Netrokona, Dinajpur, Noakhali, Sylhet, Cox’sbazar, Rajshahi, Chattogram, Mymensingh, and different other districts and upazilas.

Apart from Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party, Communist Party of Bangladesh and other left-leaning parties and their associate organizations also continued protest against the communal attacks. They are also demanding exemplary punishment  to the criminals and the safety of the people of the religious minorities. 

Dhaka University has shown strong opposition to horrendous communal attacks on the Hindu community across the country, following its early legendary pride of protest against all communal violence.

The Dhaka University Teachers Association staged a protest rally at the footprint of the Aparajeo Bangla Sculpture. Hundreds of teachers, including BNP-backed teacher’s association ‘White Pannel', took part in the protest rally.

DU Vice-chancellor Professor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman said, "Sometimes communal evil forces rise and create various incidents in a non-communal, secular country like Bangladesh, which are very unfortunate and pathetic for the nation. The evil force comes up with different opportunities to destroy the bonding that we are in, which is not acceptable in any way.”

The VC urged the government to arrest the culprits involved in those attacks via investigation. 

Professor Sadeka Halim, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said, "We have refuted secularism, one of the main pillars of the constitution, several times. Two army rulers repeatedly changed our constitution, which left us behind in the original consciousness of the liberation war, the progressive thought-consciousness, and the equality between men and women. Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina theoretically reinstated secularism, but it has yet to be materialized.”

“The communal attacks are happening due to lack of practical application of secularism,” added Sadeka Halim.

DUTA President Professor Dr Rahmat Ullah said, "Whatever is happening is an ominous sign. There are ghosts in mustard and these are politics in the economy. Despite this incident, no investigation committee has been formed yet. There are still ruins there. This is very sad. Whatever has happened, let it not happen again. This incident must be brought to justice quickly. The culprits must be brought under the law." 

Earlier, a 20-member delegation of the Dhaka University Teachers’ Association visited the puka mandaps of the Banua Dighirpar area in Cumilla, which came under attack on October 13.

Dhaka University's Theatre and Performance Studies Department staged an artistic protest performance at the footprint of Aparajeo Bangla and Raju Sculpture.

Under the supervision of the department teachers, students of different years staged the artistic protest drama titled 'Dekhte Ki Pao, Purache Bangla ...'. 

Hundreds of people, including students, teachers, and staff from various departments of the university, were present at the artistic protest rally held under the theme "Let's all be round, let's be thick".

Tanvir Nahid Khan, chief supervisor of the presentation and teacher of the department said, "Bangladesh was born based on Bengali nationalism, not religion-based nationalism. The independence of this state was achieved by a great liberation war with the united participation of people of all religions and castes. However, the recent Durga festival incidents across the country have threatened the thousand-year-old bond of communal harmony in Bengal and have put the non-communal state in crisis. 

Ashikur Rahman Lyon, chairman of the Theatre and Performance Studies Department said, ‘Our department always protests in the language of drama and art. In the interest of the country and humanity as human beings, as conscious citizens, and as artists in all respects, the teachers and students of our department are always active against all injustices.'

Thousands of Dhaka University students, including 18 hall units of the Bangladesh Chattra League, are headed by its President Al Nahiyan Khan Joy and the General Secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee and DU unit president Sanjit Chandra Das and the General Secretary Saddam Hossain took part in the Awami League protest rally against the communal attack.  

Islami Shashantantra Chatrra Andolan, DU unit brought out a separate procession against communal violence.

A section of students under the former DUCSU leader, Tanvir Hasan Saikat, brought out a lamp procession on Monday night in the TSC area of the university.

Various social organizations of the university also brought out a protest rally and discussion meeting against these heinous attacks.