Not isolated incidents but planned well ahead: Experts opine at roundtable on communal attacks
Attacks on religious minorities in the country are not isolated incidents, rather all of them are pre-planned, speakers said during an event on communal attacks and what society can do to combat those.
The authorities want to avoid responsibility by calling them isolated and the state must remain strict to put an end to such attacks, experts opined during a roundtable on "Communalism and Social Responsibility" organised by Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad today (July 28, 2022) at Cirdap Auditorium in the capital.
Below are a few quotes from the speakers who attended the roundtable:
Prof Mizanur Rahman, former chair of National Human Rights Commission, said, "Until and unless the state acknowledges that these are not isolated incidents, there is no solution to this crisis."
"Resistance has to be formed against the communal fanatics," said former Supreme Court Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik.
Security Analyst Maj Gen (retd) Mohammad Ali Shikder said, "States and nations that have allowed politics based on religion have been destroyed. We have to learn from that."
"After every attack, temples are built by the administration and financial support is provided to religious minorities. But the fear persists among them," said Professor Sadeka Halim of Dhaka University.
"Our society has changed. We do not recognise this Bangladesh," said Prof Robayet Ferdous of Dhaka University.
Fauzia Moslem, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, said, "Communal attacks are part of a bigger political conspiracy. We must collectively resist this."
Chandra Nath Podder, general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, said "Those who are carrying out communal attacks aim to expel other religions from this country. They have managed to reduce the percentage of religious minorities from 18 percent to 9.7 percent. They have also managed to create an atmosphere of fear and terror."
Cultural personality Piyush Bandopadhyay, senior journalist Abed Khan, Samakal Advisory Editor Abu Saeed Khan, Prothom Alo Joint Editor Sohrab Hossain, General Secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Sanjib Drong, Puja Udjapan Parishad President JL Bhowmik spoke at the discussion, among others.