The Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Parishad has demanded 11 points, including the formation of a commission of inquiry headed by a retired judge to investigate communal violence, a special tribunal for attackers and conspirators, and steps against responsible people who failed to deal with communal violence. Advocate Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the organization, announced a program to march towards the Prime Minister's Office from across the country to implement the demand.
Rana Dasgupta, the main leader of the religious and ethnic minority community in the country, made 11 demands at the mass hunger strike program organized in Chattogram on Saturday. Thousands of people took part in the city's Andarkilla as part of the Unity Parishad central's program calling for speedy implementation of the government's 'Zero Tolerance' declaration against communal terrorists and a united role of people at all levels in preventing communal conspiracies.
From 6 am onwards, people from different upazilas of Chattogram and different areas of the city gathered at Anderkilla premises with banners and festoons of various organizations. During the program till 12 noon, the movement of vehicles through Andarkilla and surrounding areas was closed. The rally was held on a stage set up in front of the Urban Co-operative Society building in Anderkilla. It was presided over by Professor Ranjit Kumar Dey, President of Unity Parishad Chattogram North District.
The rally also demanded the formation of a commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe communal violence during and after the Durga Puja, arresting the perpetrators of communal attacks and conspirators through an objective and impartial inquiry into anti-terrorism laws. Ensuring punishment as soon as possible, spreading religious hatred on social media as well as identifying those who are provoking and ensuring exemplary punishment under the Special Powers Act.
The Unity Parishadalso demanded reconstruction of all the temples and houses damaged by the attack, rehabilitation of the homeless, compensation to the affected traders, proper treatment of the injured and payment of Tk 20 lakh to each family of the victims and government jobs to one member of each family.
The report containing the recommendations of the Sahabuddin Commission formed under the direction of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court to investigate the communal incidents organized from 2001-06 has been demanded to be made public immediately and necessary action to be taken as per its recommendations. The demands also include the restoration of the 1972 constitution and the election manifesto of the ruling party on the eve of the Eleventh Parliamentary Elections. The pledge must be implemented quickly.
Rana Dasgupta said, ‘Keeping in view the progress of implementation of the demand, a march will be held from the remote areas of the country towards the Prime Minister's Office in February. I urge every organization of the religious and ethnic minorities to continue their public relations and protest programs individually or in unison.’
The Central Puja Udjapan Parishad announced a boycott of Shyama Puja and Diwali on November 4 and observed silence in their respective temples wearing black cloths from 6 pm to 6:15 pm.
AHM Ziauddin, General Secretary of Chattogram District Bar Association, said, ‘I demand severe punishment for those who have committed various misdeeds, including vandalism and spreading religious frenzy during the Durga Puja of the traditional community.’
‘This is the Bangladesh and here we are all equal. There is no room for division between us. In an independent country, everyone has equal rights. I demand that those who carried out the attack and terrorism be brought to justice through investigation. I express solidarity and respect for the demands of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Parishad', he added.
ISKCON Chattogram Divisional Secretary Chinmoy Krishna Das said, "Democracy and humanity are in danger in the country today. Secularism is under threat. Not a single communal attack has been prosecuted in the country. Judge the attack. The movement that has started across the country is not against the government. The movement is against the culture of impunity, against the communal forces to bring back the communal recent. '
Chattogram District Youth Unity Parishad President RubelPaul conducted the programme. Unity Parishad leaders Shyamal Kumar Palit, Nitai Prasad Ghosh, Swabhuprasad Biswas, SubhashLala, Anjan Kumar Das, Liton Das, Parimal Chowdhury, Dipankar Chowdhury Kajal, Vijay Lakshmi Devi, Ashok Kumar Das, Radharani Devi, SuchitraGuha, Chattogram City Corporation Councilor Jahar Lal Hazari, Chattogram Nagar Puja Udjapan Parishad President Ashish Bhattacharya, District Puja Udjapan Parishad General Secretary Asim Kumar Dev also spoke at the rally.
After the rally, the protest procession left Andarkilla of the city and ended at the Newmarket area.