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PROTECTING MINORITIES: Role of Awami League under severe criticism
Monday, 13 June 2016

Minority community leaders expressed anger over the role of the ruling Awami League (AL)-led 14-party alliance in protecting them from the recent violent attacks.

They claimed that the alliance leaders did not stand beside them after people of their communities were attacked or killed.

The series of attacks on minorities remind the brutality of 1971 Liberation War when minorities were the worst victim, they said.

They vented their disappointment and anger at a meeting of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad and 14-party alliance at the AL chief\'s Dhanmondi office yesterday.

The meeting was convened to make the 14-party\'s scheduled nationwide human-chain programme on June 19 a success. The programme was to protest the recent killings and militant attacks.

\"A total 23 people were killed by suspected militants this year and of them 18 were from minority communities. Minority people are 10 percent of the total population. But around 70 percent of victims were from minority communities,\" said Hindu-Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Rana Dasgupta at the meeting.

He said the recent attacks on the minorities remind them of the repression in 1971.

Rana said, \"The ruling party high-ups are only giving us consolation after being attacked. They are only providing us lip-service.\"

He observed that it was possible to wage a mass movement against the secret killers if all political parties were on their side.

Reacting to Rana\'s speech, 14-party spokesperson Mohammed Nasim said, \"Why didn\'t you speak against the killers -- BNP-Jamaat? Why you need all parties? Here is the problem of the Oikya Parishad.\"

Nasim, also the health minister, urged people to remain united in resisting militancy and secret killers. \"Help us like you did in the past. We will defeat the evil force taking the people of the country on our side,\" he added.

At the meeting, Rana said the Hindu-Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad would join the human chain.

\"We will participate in the human chain with our pain and fury.\"

At least eight people became victims of such killings since May 1. They include a Christian grocer, a Hindu priest and the wife of a police superintendent.