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Friday, September 18, 2009

Ruling partymen grabbing minority properties and continuing repression in Bangladesh: American Chronicle

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Source: American Chronicle

The latest incident took place on Friday, when 9 members of a Hindu family at Dhaka´s Rhishikesh Das Lane were abducted by a group of miscreants mostly belonging to the ruling party under patronization of the local police station. According to reports, operation officer at Sutrapur police station, A B M Forman Ali was already aware of the abduction of the members of the religious minority group and grabbing of their property.
But he did not take any action in either preventing such incident or even rescuing the abducted members of the Hindu family as several influential leaders of the ruling party were already involved with this notorious crime.According to several investigations, series of meetings took place between a property development company named Anandadhara Housing Limited and few influential local leaders of Bangladesh Awami League.
Student front leaders of the ruling party also attended these meetings. Subsequently local police station was informed and instructed to remain silent to give chance to the party cadres in abducting members of the Hindu family thus illegally grabbing their property.
Owner of the house Mohabir Das told reporters that, they were abducted by the members of the ruling party and taken to a workshop named Janata Engineering at 65 Rhishikesh Das Lane. Several police officers were also seen with the abduction gang, while 9 members of the Hindu family were abducted. It is also learnt that, police gave chance to the abductors in escaping arrest, although at least 6-7 abducters were present when police rescued the abducted minority members from the mentioned workshop.
It may be mentioned here that, Bangladesh Awami League claims to be a secular political party and always claims to be defending right of religious minorities in Bangladesh. But, in reality, there is no qualitative difference between Awami League or any of other fanatic political parties in the country, as far as minority right is concerned. Since the new government came in power during the general election of 2008, series of incidents of grabbing of properties of religious minorities, abduction, rape, forceful conversion, murder etc is continuing to take place. According to reports, since the Awami League government came in power, on an average, there is more than 3 cases of minority repression in Bangladesh on every alternative day.
Although Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised to ensure safety and security to the members of religious minority in the country, her government possibly is heading towards creating a record of minority repression since the independence of Bangladesh.
Most interestingly, whenever any ruling party activist is involved in any sort of notorious crime, starting from extortion to murder to rape etc., law enforcing agencies are always seen reluctant in taking any action against the perpetrators as there is reportedly silent instructions on the police and other law enforcing agencies to ´ignore´ some of the ´activities´ of the ruling party men. Moreover, influential ruling party leaders compel the police in dropping most of the cases lodged against their partymen for various forms of criminal activities.
The present government is also completely silent in taking any initiative in cancelling the Vested Property Act. It may be mentioned here that, under this hated Vested Property Act, huge volume of properties of religious minorities especially Hindus are grabbed mostly by influential political leaders and politically blessed people belonging to almost all the political parties in Bangladesh.The present government also continues illegal ban on the religious publications of Ahmediya religious minority group in Bangladesh.
Such ban was enforced by the BNP led Islamist government few years back, when some local fanatics continued anti-Ahmediya activities and demanding declaring Ahmediyas as ´non Muslims´.Repression of religious minorities should immediately come to an end in Bangladesh. The government should immediately withdraw ban on the publications of Ahmediyas; cancel the Vested Property Act and ensure proper protection to each and every members of the religious minorities in this country.
Moreover, stern action should be initiated against those who are continuing various forms of crime and harrassment on the religious minorities in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should take personal initiatives in blowing a huge slap on the faces of her own partymen, who are now continuing such repressions on the members of the religious minority groups. If the government led by Sheikh Hasina will fail to show their commitment to the religious minorities in the country, it will for sure, completely devastate the very image of Hasina´s government and party.

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