Violence in the name of religion | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 10, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 10, 2010


Violence in the name of religion

Police should be more proactive against it

We have no words to condemn the cowardly act of vandalising and looting the houses belonging to the members of a religious minority group, the Ahmadiyas, by some local zealots at Chandtara village of Tangail district at dead of night. All right thinking people will abhor such an act of mindless violence.
So far as the reports on the incident go, the trouble-mongers came as soon as the law-enforcers deployed there had left the place and swooped on the sleeping villagers taking advantage of their helplessness.
The circumstances of the violence make it clear that common villagers had nothing to do with the incident. It was rather the handiwork of a miniscule minority.
They chose the cover of darkness to enact their macabre act of hatred and intolerance on unsuspecting villagers.
Evidently, such senseless violence on a section of the population has been committed in contravention of the constitution, which provides that people belonging to every religious group should be able to pursue their faith in Bangladesh. Oddly enough, the dastardly attack on a religious sect has occurred at a time when the incumbent government is emphasising the secular essence of the 1972 constitution.
However, such attack on this particular religious sect by a brand of bigots and obscurantists is not quite a new experience. In the past, too, we have a few instances of such sporadic violence in different parts of the country enacted by them. The repetition of the violence after a relative lull only lays bare the fact that nothing substantial has so far been done to protect them on a sustainable basis.
But is it not the government's sacred duty to take all necessary measures to protect its citizens who are otherwise very peaceful and that their rights to exist and practice their belief are duly protected by the law?
The incident at Chandtara village in the Ghatail upazila of Tangail over construction of mosque by the community in question shows that the community is as insecure as ever. And the way the latest mayhem occurred does not also speak well of the police vigilance in the area under scrutiny.
The government, its home ministry in particular, should take serious note of Sunday's episode in the Chandtara village of Tangail and take all necessary measures to ensure adequate security in the trouble-prone villages through enhanced police vigilance. Simultaneously, the trouble-mongers should be brought to book.

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