Mayhem During Puja: Local admins failed to save Hindus: HC
The High Court yesterday observed that the local administrations failed to save the people of Hindu community, their properties and places of worship in different districts during this year's Durga Puja festival from communal attacks.
The court, however, said the government has taken actions after the incidents.
The HC directed the authorities concerned to conduct judicial inquiries into the incidents of violent attacks in six districts between October 13 and 18.
The districts are Cumilla, Feni, Noakhali, Chattogram, Chandpur and Rangpur.
During hearing of a writ petition, the court asked the chief metropolitan magistrates and chief judicial magistrates concerned to submit their inquiry reports to it within 60 days.
At the same time, the HC issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain as to why the inaction and failure of the local administrations to protect Hindu citizens, their properties and places of worship in the districts during their biggest religious festival should not be declared illegal.
The bench of Justice Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah came up with the order and rule after hearing the petition filed by Supreme Court lawyers Anup Kumar Saha and Mintu Chandra Das seeking necessary directives on the issue.
They submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC on October 21, saying that eight people were killed, many others injured and puja mandaps, temples and their properties vandalised and looted during the violent attacks between October 13 and 18, which is a criminal offence.
But the local administrations failed to protect them from the communal attacks, they said in the petition.
During yesterday's hearing, petitioners' lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua told the HC that incidents of violent attacks on the people of minority community took place at different times in the country since 2001, but justice has not been ensured in any of the incidents.
The innocent people were harassed and arrested, but the real perpetrators were not punished, he said.
Lawyer Jyotirmoy said 18 criminal cases have been filed over mindless attacks on the Buddhist community people in Cox's Bazar's Ramu in 2012, but trial proceedings of any of the cases have yet been completed.
Judicial inquiries need to be conducted to find out the perpetrators responsible for the violent attacks on the Hindu people in different districts during Durga Puja festival and they should be brought to book, he added.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Additional Attorney General Sk Md Morshed opposed the petition, saying that the government has taken appropriate steps after the attacks.
Many of the perpetrators have been arrested and several cases have been lodged over the attacks and the negligent police personnel have already been transferred as punishment, the attorney general said, adding that the government would continue its action.