Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the Election Commission (EC) and authorities concerned to ensure public security and protect the minorities from possible violence centring the upcoming national election.
They also criticised Jatiya Oikyafront for allowing 22 Jamaat-e-Islami men to vie in the election, and urged people to reject them.
Sammilito Samajik Andolon (SSA) organised the rally in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Speaking on the occasion, Pankaj Bhattacharya, president of Oikya Nap said, “We hope communal violence will not be incited, ethnic and religious minorities will not forcibly evicted from their homes, and women will not be tortured. The EC has to pass this great exam….Responsibility cannot be fulfilled just by expressing grief or embarrassment. You [EC] have to perform your duties as the referee.”
He also demanded that the EC, police and the government play their respective roles in ensuring public security.
Coming down heavily on Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), he said, “Relying on Jamaat, BNP wants to engage in pro-Pakistani politics. This has to stop.”
He also demanded complete ban on Jamaat and other “religion-based” political parties.
The rally was conducted by Saleh Ahmed, general secretary of the platform. Advocate Parvez Hashem, international affairs secretary of SSA, read out an announcement at the event.
In the announcement, Hashem made a five-point call, including stopping use of religion in politics; saying no to terrorists, black money, bank looters and those who torture women, children, ethnic and religious minorities; and banning Jamaat-Shibir.
The event was presided over by Zia Uddin, president of SSA. Joyonti Roy, event presidium member of SSA; Kazi Salma, joint secretary of SSA; Dr Abul Kashem, general secretary of World Peace Council- Bangladesh; and Advocate Hasanuzzaman, joint secretary of Muktijoddha Sanghati Parishad, among others, spoke at the programme.