The state has failed to protect the minorities from post-election violence in different parts of the country although it was predictable, speakers told a discussion yesterday.
Even now, the survivors of the attacks in Satkhira, Sathiya of Pabna, and Kernai, Goyra of Dinajpur are passing their days in fear of fresh attacks as the perpetrators have not been brought to book yet, said Kaberi Gayen, professor of mass communication and journalism at Dhaka University.
The professor, who has visited the affected areas, urged law enforcement agencies to arrest the main culprits on the basis of concrete evidence instead of making wholesale arrests, harassing people.
The discussion was organised by Bangladesh Progoti Lekhok Sangha at its office in the capital.
Prof Gayen said as Jamaat-e-Islami was organised and had a strong financial base, it would continue to instigate attacks, so the state must put adequate preventive measures in place.
Pointing to the sharp decline of the Hindu population in Bangladesh since the country’s independence, she said it was high time for initiating a cultural movement against communalism.
Although in different areas local Awami League candidates assured minorities of preventing attacks on them during the vote, they did not come to their rescue in the end, said Prof Gayen.
She said she felt uncomfortable to hear that former AL whip Sheikh Abdul Wahab, who faced allegations of involvement in the Abhaynagar attacks in Jessore, was seen sitting beside Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when she went to the upazila to visit the affected Hindu families.
President of the Communist Party of Bangladesh Mujahedul Islam Selim urged all to focus on creating awareness among local people so that they come forward to protect minorities in times of violence.