Vol. 5 Num 35 Wed. June 30, 2004  
Front Page

Govt giving free rein to Bangla Bhai
Politicians talk of rising religious extremism

Opposition political leaders yesterday accused the government of giving a free rein to Bangla Bhai, operations commander of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, to carry out criminal activities in the northwest.

Religious extremism is on increase in the country as the government has failed to take legal action against the Islamic zealots, the leaders said at a roundtable organised by Muktijoddha Samonnoya Parishad in Dhaka.

They urged all pro-liberation political parties to stand up unitedly against rising extremism across the country.

Speaking at the roundtable as chief guest, Awami League presidium member Tofail Ahmed said the Islamic radicals are spreading their wings across the country under the patronage of the BNP-led coalition government.

"Fundamentalists are taking revenge for their defeat in 1971 through unleashing terror across the country," Tofail said.

He expressed the fear that the communal forces may jeopardise the country's electoral process through their criminal activities.

He also urged all progressive political parties and pro-liberation forces to be united to fight against the growing Islamist militancy.

Gono Forum General Secretary Saifuddin Ahmed Manik said progressive political parties should have a common stand against communal forces. "There cannot be any compromise with fundamentalism as this negative force will take the country to the backseat," he said.

General Secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh ( CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim said the government is absolutely responsible for the criminal activities of Bangla Bhai.

"The government is doing an unconstitutional thing by subscribing to the criminal activities of Bangla Bhai," Selim said and added the communal forces have a hand in the bomb blasts in the country.

Selim also said progressive political parties should play a role to fight against the communal forces by maintaining their respective identities.

Worker Party General Secretary Bimal Biswas said communal forces are continuing their activities with the government help.

Muktijoddha Samonnoya Parishad Chairman Abir Ahad presided over the roundtable, which was also addressed by Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) President Nur-e-Alam Ziku and JSD (Inu) leader Mainuddin Khan Badal.