A ruling MP has said if it were allowed to go on, the Hindu minority’s continued exodus would bring the nation to the brink of a crisis.
“They’re going away quietly. We have to treat this with importance,” veteran Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta told parliament on Thursday.
Quoting news reports, he said not a single case of attack on minorities in the country had ever faced trial.
In 1974, Hindus were 13.5 percent of the population, which in 1981 fell to 12.1 percent and in 2001 became 8.5 percent, he said, quoting census figures.
“This government must be allowed to do its work. It must be allowed to work constitutionally,” he said.
“The ministers and the employees of the republic must have a good understanding,” he added.
The MP’s remarks came hours after the High Court ordered the government to act against the people behind the hate attacks on Hindus alongside Awami League supporters across Bangladesh after the 2001 general elections.
A judicial investigation committee in its report three years ago identified several BNP and Jamaat leaders as having been involved in the attacks.
Suranjit said he believed Tarique Rahman’s statements – that Zia was the first president and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an illegal prime minister – were not just political ravings, there was some political conspiracy behind them.
“There are some people, who are in the legal trade, who are supporting this,” he said.
The BNP was conspiring to distort the history, Suranjit said. “We must fight them legally and politically.”
The senior leader demanded that Tarique be tried for sedition and get the highest penalty.
He said Khaleda was an illiterate prime minister. “People who deny the history of our Liberation have no right to live in this country.”