Ethnic minorities demand constitutional recognition

DU Correspondent | Published: 01:07, Jun 30,2018

 
 

Protesters hold placards during a rally organised by several organisations, including Democratic Youth Forum, on Dhaka University campus on Friday to press their demands. — New Age photo

Different ethnic minority groups on Friday demanded scrapping of ‘controversial sections’ of the 15th amendment to the constitution as they called for constitutional recognition of national minorities to end discrimination against them.
Addressing a rally, they also demanded an end to ‘indiscriminate killing, ransacking and apprehension’ in the name of joint forces drive.
Democratic Youth Forum, Hill Women’s Federation and Greater Hill Tracts Student Association jointly organised the protest rally near Anti-Terrorism Raju Memorial sculpture on the Dhaka University campus.
Binoyon Chakma, president of Pahari Chhatra Parishad, alleged that the ruling Awami League had tried to force ultra Bengali nationalism on ethnic minority groups through the 15th amendment to the constitution.
He said that the government had virtually established a military rule in the three hill districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban, instead of ensuring local people’s basic rights.
He added that the ethnic minorities should have the right to self-determine their social, political, cultural and economic developments that were ignored by all the governments in Bangladesh.
Hill Women’s Federation president Nirupa Chakma complained that ethnic women in the hills and plain lands were subjected to tortures by majority people due to the lack of law enforcement.
She alleged that incidents of violence on marginalised people often went unabated as the crimes were sponsored by ruling party leaders and activists.
Nirupa also complained that law enforcement personnel often instigated the crimes but none of them was brought to book.
The protesters later brought out a procession that paraded different streets of the university campus. 

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