Religious and ethnic minorities on Thursday said that they were anxious as a reactionary section in the government was active to create communal division, discrimination and incitement capitalising the debate over Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
Addressing a press conference organised by Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, its general secretary Rana Dasgupta, referring to newspaper reports, alleged that the reactionary section had been exploiting the ethno-religious identity of the CJ following a recent judgement by him to deprive minority community officials of promotions and better appointments in government services.
‘As a result, service holders belonging to minority communities who are advanced in qualifications and seniority are now facing hopelessness and uncertainty. The religious minority leaders are now anxious whether they would have to experience deprivation in appointment and promotion,’ he said.
He, without mentioning the name, alleged that a senior secretary in the prime minister’s office was involved in such acts.
Rana sought the prime minister’s intervention in initiating a probe to identify the quarter that was conspiring to create communal deprivation using the CJ issue.
Like ordinary citizens, he said, around 2.5 crore religious and ethnic minorities were anxious and frightened at the current situation involving the chief justice.
Referring to the human chain of Awami Olama League in front of the National Press Club on the day of SK Sinha’s oath taking as the CJ, he said that the Olama League leaders said that they did not accept a Hindu CJ in a Muslim country like Bangladesh.
He alleged that comments undermining the CJ by many ministers and leaders of the ruling alliance on a recent unanimous verdict by seven Supreme Court judges reflected Olama League’s position.
‘We have come here to express our concerns about communal discriminations bringing the CJ’s religious identity on the front.’
Presided over by the parishad president Huber Gomez, the conference was also addressed by senior politician Pankaj Bhattacharjee, parishad leader Neem Chandra Bhowmik and Bangladesh Adibasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong.
The ruling Awami League government and its leaders have been criticising the CJ after the publication of the full verdict of the 16th amendment case that scrapped the parliament’s authority to remove SC judges.
Amid the criticism, the CJ went on a 30-day ‘sick’ leave from October 3 to November 1.
Meanwhile, the CJ and his wife got long-term Australian visas on October 5 to spend time with their daughter living there.
The president has approved the CJ’s visiting abroad and given the charge of chief justice to senior most SC judge Justice Abdul Wahhab Miah until he returns.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country