60 seats for minority in parliament demanded

Bangladesh ParliamentDhaka: Hindu, Buddha and Christian Oikya Parisad Tuesday sought commitment of all political parties to make reservation of 60 seats in parliament in the next general election for the religious minority group, BSS reports.

They made the demand at a press conference at the Sagar- Runi auditorium at Dhaka Reporters Unity here, saying political commitments are needed for reservation of 60 seats in the greater interest of flourishing democracy and ensuring empowerment of religious minority group.

Oikya Parisad General Secretary Advocate Rana Das Gupta read out the written statement and put forward a number of demands that included setting up a separate ministry for monitory people and a National Minority Commission for protecting interest of minority people belonging to different faiths.

Presidium member of the parisad Professor Dr Nim Chandra Bhowmik, Hubat Gomes, Advocate Subrata Chowdhury and Assistant Secretary Bhikku Sunanda Pryia were present.

The demands also included religion and communalism could not be used in the next general election, ensuring congenial atmosphere so that the minority people can cast their votes without any fear, not for enacting any anti-minority law and running the country with the secular sprit based on the war of liberation.

On a query, the Oikya Parisad leaders said they would continue with their rallies and sharing opinion with cross section of people in 72 organizational units across the country to realize commitment from political parties.

They will also meet secretary general level leaders of all political parties to place their demands.

About the attacks on minority people across the country after verdict of Jammat leader Delwar Hossain Saydee’s case, they said it has tarnished the country’s image abroad.

They said fear has been created among the minority people about their future following uses of religion and communalism in the last five city corporation elections. They also urged the Election Commission to take immediate measures so that none can use such sentiments in the next general election.

They expressed their resentment for not implementing the Shahabuddin Commission report formed to try the post-2001 election related violence and urged the government to take initiative for its immediate implementation.

Referring to the Population Census-2011, Oikya parisad leaders said, “We can’t forget the incidents happened in 2001 that forced nearly 11 lakh people to leave the country.”

They were also vocal about the BNP’s announcement to go for the next election with Jammat-e-Islami soon after the canceling Jammat’s political registration by High Court and demanded punitive actins against those who nurturing communalism and religion based politics.

Source: Natun Barta

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