Expressing grave concern over the recent violence in the country centring on the 10th national election, former Chief Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday urged all to find a solution to ensure people's "right to live".
“The recent violence has ensued for not ensuring the voting right, which is a big right. But the bigger right is to live and manage livelihood,” he told a national dialogue on the recent violence and current human rights situation.
Habibur Rahman, who was chief adviser of the 1996 caretaker government, said, “To save one's own life and property is "farz" (obligatory), but we cannot do that. We are now passing our days in a suffocating situation.”
It is no use blaming the politicians, he said, adding that the educated, well-off sections of the society were not being affected much by the violence whereas the helpless and poor, who earn their keep by working hard, were becoming the victims.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) organised the dialogue at the capital's Shilpakala Academy.
NHRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman said the countrywide incidents of violence did not erupt from political issues; these were terrorist activities against the state and people.
The prime duty of the government is to ensure security of the citizens, he said, adding that the government must take stern action against the perpetrators.
Noted jurist Barrister Amirul Islam observed that the recent violence was created by the anti-liberation forces, Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir, only to save war criminals.
“We are concerned about the international community's interference in our judicial process over the trial of war criminals. We are also concerned about violence in the name of politics,” he said.
Shahriar Kabir, acting president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said the perpetrators of 1971, Jamaat and Shibir, had become stronger after enjoying the impunity from BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.
He criticised the international communities for "meddling" in Bangladesh's judicial process.
Theatre personality Ramendu Majumdar said, “I feel helpless over the recent violence.” The government must control Jamaat-Shibir in a strong hand to stop this, he said.
Barrister Tania Amir presented the keynote paper where she mentioned that Jamaat and Shibir were behind the violence unleashed to save war criminals.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanom and Supreme Court lawyer Subrata Chowdhury, among others, also spoke.