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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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Inspired by inaction

Roundtable blames govt for rise of communal forces

Noted academicians, politicians and the National Human Rights Commission chief yesterday blasted the government for its inaction against “communal forces like Jamaat-e-Islami” which they believe encouraged the violence at Ramu.

At a roundtable discussion organised by Bangla daily Prothom-Alo at its Karwan Bazar office, the speakers demanded that the government take stern actions against a section of police officials who failed to prevent the violence at Ramu, Cox's Bazar, Saturday night.

They said Jamaat-e-Islami and its allies were not sitting idle as the war crimes trials of some of its top leaders were at the final stages.

They blasted police officials concerned for their “inaction” during incidents of communal violence, including the one at Ramu.

“The attack on pagodas and homes of Buddhists in Ramu was not an isolated incident. Such communal violence had also taken place in Satkhira, Chirir Bandar in Dinajpur, Ukhia, Hathazari and Pathorghata in Chittagong and Rangamati this year,” said NHRC Chairman Mizanur Rahman.

He said violence in those places and in Ramu were part of a chain.

“And I want to ask what the government has done against the criminals who were involved in those incidents of violence. How does the religious fundamentalist gain strength to march towards the US embassy to attack and barricade Kuril Biswa Road?” the NHRC boss said.

Mizanur said Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir men who were engaged in the administration and law enforcement agencies have to be identified. He said they were patronising communal forces and stern actions would have to be taken against them.

He said the violence at Ramu was certainly premeditated, planned and well organised. Mizanur said only 0.2 percent people of Bangladesh use Facebook.

The violence at Ramu was allegedly triggered by a facebook photo disrespecting the holy Quran.

He said, “Therefore, a post on Facebook cannot be the reason for such violence.”

He said political parties were engaged in dirty politics and were blaming each other for the incident.

The NHCR chief said he was likely to visit Ramu and would come up with recommendations on what the government should do to stop recurrence of such incidents.

Prof Anisuzzaman said, “We should wage a movement if it does not take any visible actions against the perpetrators involved in such violence.”

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon called upon the media and distinguished personalities to unite and fight against the communal forces.

He claimed that Jamaat and its like-minded organisations instigated such incidents of communal violence in the country as the trials of some suspected war criminals were at the final stages.

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