Civil society leaders on Thursday demanded trial of those spreading sectarian hatred and who threatened rights activist Sultana Kamal after distorting her conversation in a recent television talk-show.
They vowed to stand by Sultana Kamal and other progressive campaigners and observed that the government was obliged to ensure security of people being insulted or threatened by the extremists.
Addressing a protest meeting, organised by civil society platform Nagarik Samaj, at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, they criticised the government’s inaction against the religious ‘fanatics’. Dhaka University economics teacher MM Akash, while reading out a statement, said that leaders of Hefajat-e-Islam distorted Sultana’s comment on mosques.
On May 28, Sultana appeared on the TV talk show together with Hefajat member Mufti Shakhawat Hossain where the Islamist leader argued that the statue was a religious structure and that no religious structures should be on the Supreme Court’s premises.
Sultana argued that if that was the case, no mosque should be on the premises either.
Hefajat vice-president Junayed Al Habib at Baitul Mukarram mosque after Friday’s Jumma prayers on June 2 threatened Sultana saying, ‘We will break every bon in your body’.
Chaired by Professor Ajoy Roy, father of slain blogger Avijit Roy, the meeting was also addressed by Khushi Kabir, Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, Shahriar Kabir, Abul Barkat, Sadeka Halim, Sanjib Drong, Shaheen Anam, Maleka Begume and Rafiur Rabbi, among others. In a press release issued on June 8, Amnesty International demanded immediate steps by the authorities concerned to ensure Sultana’s protection, investigating the threats made against her and arrest the responsible persons.
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