Put a stop to culture of impunity
Condemning the recent arson attack on the Hindu locality in Barisal, eminent citizens yesterday said the state needs to put a stop to the culture of impunity.
Such attacks on minority communities are occurring every now and then but the culprits remain out of the purview of the law, they told a press conference an eight-member team organised in the capital's Liberation War Museum.
The team on November 19 visited the locality, Nomopara, in Char Kawa village, about six kilometres east of Barisal city, and the house of a murdered college student, Parvez Gazi, 20, in neighbouring Char Aicha village.
Over 1,000 Char Aicha residents, incensed at the murder of Parvez and wounding of three others in a clash over a badminton game at Nomopara on the evening of November 14, attacked and torched Nomopara the next morning.
The team includes Workers' Party of Bangladesh leader Bimal Biswas, anti-militancy campaigner Ziauddin Tariq Ali, Bangladesh College and University Teachers' Association President Dr Noor Mohammad Talukder, journalist Salim Samad, writer Sardar Amin, Dhaka University teacher Robaet Ferdous, filmmaker Rashed Rhine, and indigenous community leader Dipayon Khisa.
"The state is not that weak that it cannot identify the perpetrators. Whoever they may be, the state should identify and try them," said veteran politician Pankaj Bhattacharya.
The citizens said the heinous attack was carried out by those who do not believe in communal harmony and took the chance to destroy such harmony.
The affected locals had blamed police and local administrations of being negligent in their duties during and following the attack, they said.
"Despite knowing of the growing tension, only four policemen were deployed at the village who played the role of spectators during the attack," said Noor Mohammad Talukdar.
Alongside investigating negligence of the part of police, the citizens also demanded exemplary punishment for the murders, required treatment for the injured and rehabilitation of the victims.