People on Monday raised their voices against the communal attacks on people from minority Hindu community in different parts of the country.
Thousands of protesters from different organizations including International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Bangladesh Hindu Buddho Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC), Jago Hindu Parishad and several hundred Dhaka University students blocked traffic at Shahbagh intersection for several hours. They demanded the arrest and 'highest punishment' of those who perpetrated the attacks on the temples, homes and businesses of the Hindu community across Bangladesh.
Joydeep Dutta, former literary editor of Jagannath Hall Student Council and protest convener, announced the list of demands which include formation of a special tribunal and investigate the negligence of local administration, ensure exemplary punishment for those involved in the attacks ,formation of separate ministry and commission for the country's minorities, properly compensate the victim families and businesses, provide necessary treatment to those who got injured in the attacks, immediately rebuild the damaged temples, houses, and other establishments, make new law to ensure highest punishment for communal attacks , allocate 15 percent of the country's GDP for minority communities,, revamp Hindu Religious Welfare Trust, release all Hindus arrested since the 13 October incident and compensate them, take measures to prevent the spread of communalism and prevent extremists and anti-independence forces from tarnishing Bangladesh's image.
However, around 2pm, they called off the sit-in program following assurance from the authorities. They vowed to continue their protest until their demands are met.
Shri Kusal Ray Chakroborthy, a professor of Chittagong University, who joined the protest, said, "The communal attacks on Hindu community and the incidents of vandalizing puja mandaps are planned. We strongly condemn such heinous attacks."
--- Afzal Tanvir, AA