Hindus fear oppression ahead of Bangladesh national polls: community leaders

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:43, May 20,2018 | Updated: 00:53, May 20,2018

 
 

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan addresses the council session of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad as chief guest at Dhakeshwari National Temple on Saturday. — New Age photo

Central and district unit leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad on Saturday said that the members of Hindu community, like previous elections, feared of oppression ahead of national elections to be held towards the end of the year.
They expressed their fears while addressing the biennial council session 2018 of the parishad on the Dhakeshwari National Temple premises where central leaders as well as councillors from its 72 organisational district units were present.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan was present as chief guest in the council session.
In presence of the home minister, parishad general secretary Tapos Kumar Paul said, ‘You know, the 11th national elections are going to be held in six or seven months. If we remember past several national and local government elections, we can see severe oppression [on Hindus].’
He alleged that the religious minorities were deprived of equal rights and facing deprivation in state and social lives since the Pakistan period.
In the past two years, he mentioned, Hindus faced oppressions, attacks on their houses and temples as well as looting and arson attacks.
He said that the attacks on Hindus were organised at some places and, in most cases, political leaders and the administration failed to bring the situation under control.
‘When elections come closer, Hindus pass days in fear as their experiences of past elections were not happy ones,’ he said requesting the government as well as the Election Commission to take necessary steps in this connection.
Tapos urged political parties not to nominate anyone involved in oppressing religious minority people.
Parishad leader Bimol Kanti Roy from Sunamganj said, ‘The number of Hindus is decreasing in the country due to oppressions before and after the elections. As the elections come closer, incidents of oppression on Hindus start to grow.’
Another leader, Harendra Roy from Natore alleged that the administration was not cordial in returning the lands to Hindus even after they won cases under the vested property act.
Home minister Asaduzzaman in his speech assured that prime minister Sheikh Hasina would establish a non-communal country for all. ‘The government will not allow any evil or communal power to raise their heads.’
He said that the government would make the situation fit for Hindus to cast their votes for their candidates of choice without fear.
Parishad president Jayanta Sen Dipu chaired the session.
In the council session, the councillors elected the new committee for the next two years with Milon Kanti Dutta as president and Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee as general secretary.

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