Civil society members and human rights activists have urged the government to take strict action against perpetrators of the recent attacks on homes and temples of the minority community in Shalla upazila of Sunamganj.
They have also demanded that stern action be taken against the communal forces who engaged in destructive activities across the country during the last few days, says a press release.
The activists raised the demand at an urgent virtual meeting of the National Citizen Coordination Cell for Implementation of the Vested Property Act on Monday. It was organised in protest against the Shalla attack and Hefazat-e-Islam's vandalism and arson across the country.
Among others, the meeting was attended by former adviser to the caretaker government Advocate Sultana Kamal, retired judge of the Appellate Division Md Nizamul Haque, General Secretary of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council Advocate Rana Dasgupta, senior Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Tabarak Hossain, Nijera Kari Coordinator Khushi Kabir, and Advocate Subrata Chowdhury.
Tabarak Hossain said the violence carried out by Hefazat members across the country on the golden jubilee of independence had violated the spirit of human rights, the constitution, and the liberation war.
"Police have filed a case against 3,000 unidentified persons in connection with the incident in Shalla. It may become a whole arrest scheme."
Subrata Chowdhury said attacks on minorities in Shalla are not new or isolated incidents.
"This was the latest in continuation of the incidents in Sathiya, Ramu, Nasirnagar, and Gangachara."
He suggested that a religious minority commission be formed to prevent the persecution of minorities, adding that the commission would act as a watchdog.
Rana Dasgupta said minorities are being attacked regularly not only in Shalla but also in other parts of the country.
"It is like a version of the annihilation of the minorities of 1971. Minorities want their protection. Otherwise, they all are going to leave the country together."
He urged the government to take positive steps to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Expressing doubts about the outcome of the case filed over the Shalla attack, retired Appellate Division judge Md Nizamul Haque said lawyers need to form a watchdog committee to keep up the pressure on those concerned.
He also proposed a minority commission on behalf of the civil society.
Sultana Kamal said, "The boast of evil forces we have been witnessing since 26 March and the way the police are trying to resist the protesters with the help of leaders and workers of the ruling party, we do not want that. The position of the government on the communal attack in Shalla is not clear to us."
She also stressed the need to create a minority commission.
Khushi Kabir said, "We call for a greater unity. It is a matter of sorrow that some people are condemning the police atrocity on Hefazat leaders and activists ignoring the havoc wreaked by the communal force. It is encouraging Hefazat. We reject such a stance."