Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are the PM's words empty?

Not three days have passed since Bangla Nation implored Bangladeshi voters and the international community to hold Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to her alleged commitment to "building up a non-communal, democratic Bangladesh where people of all faiths will live in peace and plenty" (see...). Prime Minister Hasina needs to show her support for Bangladesh's minorities, not just because they voted for her party, by ordering an investigation into the circumstances and situations of the minorities in Bangladesh. Moreover, security personnel should be in place to protect the Hindu community. Most importantly, the police need to bring the criminals and hate activists, especially their leaders and political patrons (if they are acting under Opposition orders), to book and make a stern example of them.

Three days ago, just before PM Hasina's speech, a gang (from a neighboring village) beat up two youths of Dighalkandi Sahapara village (Puthia). In response, 10 Hindu families filed a general diary with the local police. Later that night, 30 suspected BNP-Jamaat "cadres" attacked three of the families, injuring 12. During the assault, the attackers hurled abuses at the families for supporting the Awami League during the December elections. The Awami League President of Baneswar union indicated that "criminals" had been after the land of the Hindu families in the village for a long time (Daily Star).

Disturbing and inexcusable are the only words to describe the situation that the Hindu community continues to find itself in. Bangla Nation believes that if Prime Minister Hasina intends on being more than an empty politician expelling hot air, addressing the grievances of Puthia's Hindu community would be a good place to take action.

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