Rival parties join hands to protect Hindus in Bangladesh

Rivals unite to protect Hindus
Dhaka, Jan 10: Leaders of the ruling Awami League party and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in the country's Gaibandha district have come together to protect the minority Hindu community in that area.

Houses of Hindus were attacked, torched and ransacked in various places of the country after the Jan 5 general elections.

On Jan 6, several homes and business establishments of Hindus were attacked in Kuptala union of the district's Sadar upazila (sub-district), bdnews24.com reported Friday.

Following the attack, the BNP and Awami League leaders of the Kuptala union's Ward-6 agreed to work together to provide security to the Hindu community, the report said.

The minority Hindus have been targetted across Bangladesh after Jan 5 polls

The Hindu communities of the district's Sundargang, Sadullyapur, Palashbari and Govindaganj upazilas are now living in fear.

The leaders of the two political parties decided to unite at a meeting Thursday. The meeting was presided by former union parishad chairman Mojibor Rahman.

"The leaders of the two parties have agreed to live peacefully, shunning all sorts of violence," bdnews24.com quoted Rahman as saying.

The ward unit's Awami League general secretary Zeyad Ali said: "Leaders and activists of both parties have agreed to work together to maintain communal harmony in the area."

Faizar Rahman, BNP chief of the area, said: "We want to assure the local minorities that such incident (the attack few days ago) will not recur."

The upazila administration chief Mamunur Rashid has confirmed the news of the BNP and Awami League working together to protect the Hindus, the report said.

The National Human Rights Commission Wednesday said the Bangladesh government has failed to prevent attacks on Hindus after the elections.

Mired in controversy, the elections were held in just 147 out of 300 seats in 59 out of 64 districts of the country.

Some 21 parties, including former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party, boycotted the polls over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's refusal to introduce a non-party interim government to oversee the elections.


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