The country's ethnic and religious minority communities yesterday urged political parties not to nominate those candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election, who have past record of committing oppression against them.
They made the call at a press conference organised by Shahebganj-Bagdafarm Bhumi Uddhar Sangram Committee, a platform to protect land rights of indigenous people in Gaibandha, at the capital's Dhaka Reporters' Unity.
The event was organised demanding justice for Santal victims of Gabindaganj atrocity, allegedly carried out by police and local goons in November 2016.
They demanded punishment of the murderers of three Santals, compensation for victims of arson attacks and loots, and their rehabilitation.
Reading out a written statement, Philimon Baskey, president of the platform, alleged that a local lawmaker was involved in committing atrocities against the indigenous community and grabbing their lands.
Kajal Devnath, adviser to Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, said they will not support any candidate with past criminal records against members of minority communities.
“If any such person gets nomination, we will not cast our votes,” he added.
Rabindranath Soren, president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, said Santals were assured of justice and compensation, but nothing has been done in the past two years.
Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, blamed, “The poor are not getting any protection and justice from the state. The state is becoming hostage to some neo-riches and looters.”