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Sectarian violence results from no govt action in past: experts

Staff Correspondent

The National Human Rights Commission chairman, Mizanur Rahman, addresses a programme on human rights and communal harmony organised by the National Human Rights Commission in the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photoThe National Human Rights Commission chairman, Mizanur Rahman, addresses a programme on human rights and communal harmony organised by the National Human Rights Commission in the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photo

A group of eminent citizens at an exchange of views on Sunday said that sectarian violence was taking place as no governments had taken any action against any such attacks earlier.
They criticised the government for patronising communal forces and urged the government to take action against sectarian violence that had happned in the country in recent times.
The National Human Rights Commission with the help of the European Union and Oxfam organised the programme on ‘Human rights and communal harmony: our role’ in the CIRDAP auditorium in the capital Dhaka.
Steps towards Development executive director Ranjan Karmakar said that the reason for recent sectarian attack was communal forces being patronised by the state.
Rights Jessore executive director Binoy Krishna Mallick echoing the sentiment blamed blamed moral degradation of the people who run the state.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad president Ayesha Khanam said, ‘In 2001, after post-election sectarian attacks, an investigative commission was set up but we still do not know what the commission recommended and what action the government took.’
She said that ‘ethnic cleansing’ had been going on in the country for many years for which the total number of religious minority decreased from 30 per cent to 9 per cent.
Action Aid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir said that there was no example where justice had been ensured.
The NHRC chairman, Mizanur Rahman, said, ‘The recent sectarian violence is not election-centered violence. It is deep-rooted. It is important to identify the root if we want to get rid of this.’
Dhaka University history teacher Mesbah Kamal proposed the enactment of a law to end sectarian violence and set up tribunal in 64 districts for the disposal of such cases.
He recommended the formulation of minority-related ministry, a uniform inheritance act, a uniform marriage registration act and a ban on all activities of Jamaat and Chhatra Shibir.
Law Commission member Shah Alam said that they would propose the enactment of a law against sectarian violence.
Barrister Amirul Islam recommended the enforcement of existing laws, specially Anti Terrorism (Amendment) Act 2013, to stop sectarian violence.
Former state minister for liberation war affairs ABM Tajul Islam, lawyer Sigma Huda, columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Democracy Watch executive director Taleya Rahman, Nari Pragati Sangha executive director Rokeya Kabir, Manusher Janya Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam, writer Selina Hossain and PRIP Trust executive director Aroma Datta also spoke.
In the programme, the NHRC accorded reception to Sreedharpur union chairman Habibur Rahman Bappi and union council member Ahsan Habib Dipu for their contribution to stopping sectarian violence.




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The National Human Rights Commission chairman, Mizanur Rahman, addresses a programme on human rights and communal harmony organised by the National Human Rights Commission in the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photo
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