Memorandum to High Commission, PMO & MEA to protect Hindu minorities in Bangladesh

    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: Lawyer activist and founder of the All India Muslim Agenda 2014, Shehzad Poonawalla today submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi along with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs to highlight the plight of the minority Hindu community being persecuted in Bangladesh by the activists of the Jamat e Islami and BNP, particularly after 5th January polls.

    Shehzad has been in touch with local activists and journalists including groups like Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council (HBCUC) which has estimated that 485 households and 578 shops owned by Hindus in 32 districts were vandalised since the general election schedule was announced on November 25 2013.

    During this period, 152 temples as per estimates, have also been damaged, prompting the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh to state on record that the state had failed to take adequate steps to protect the minority Hindu community. A copy of the same can be found in the petition.

    Shehzad said, “The January 5 elections in Bangladesh have once again reminded the vulnerable minority Hindu community of the brutal treatment it received 43 years ago at the hands of marauding Pakistani forces and their local cohorts. The constant spate of such attacks has ended up in completely distorting the demographic profile of Bangladesh with the Hindu population dropping from 25% in 1948 to 8.5% in 2001. Many would be inclined to view this as an ongoing ethnic cleansing or genocide against the minority Hindus at the hands of the fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh.”

    The 26 year old Muslim lawyer has invoked International covenants on human rights to which Bangladesh is a signatory along with its constitution as also the Holy Quran to emphasise on safety of minorities in Bangladesh. He also expressed dismay that no Muslim leaders especially those belonging to Jamat e Islami Hind, a sister concern of the Jamat in Bangladesh did not exert any influence against what he termed as “un-Islamic persecution” of Hindus.

    He has prayed for the following reliefs and has expressed hope that the Government if India would use diplomatic channels to ensure:

    A) The Bangladesh Government does everything in its power to safeguard and protect its Hindu citizens and their homes, livelihoods and properties.

    B) The Bangladesh Government must set up tribunals to try and convict all those guilty of crimes against minorities, without fear or favour and ensure justice.

    C) It must take necessary steps to re-build the confidence amongst the minority Hindus, re-fill the trust deficit between communities and ensure due compensation to those adversely affected.