The Citizens' Initiative for Enacting Hindu Law (CIEHL) has protested at misinformation about Hindu inheritance laws spread by the National Hindu Grand Alliance at a recent press conference.
In a statement sent to the media on Monday, CIEHL alleged that the National Hindu Grand Alliance spread misinformation about individuals and organisations who were not involved in preparing the draft law on equal rights of Hindu women to their parents' property.
The CIEHL coalition prepared a draft Hindu Law of Inheritance in March to ensure Bangladeshi Hindu women have equal rights to property.
The press release said the demand for an amendment to the Hindu law of inheritance is a demand of Bangladeshi Hindu citizens. Hindu citizens from various human rights organisations were involved in preparing the draft of the proposed amendment. Not only Manusher Jonyo Foundation, but other organisations like Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), PRIP Trust, Naripokkho, RDRS and Bachte Sekha were also involved in preparing the draft.
"Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam's name was mentioned at the press conference of the Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance. We are very ashamed to hear this because he is not associated with this coalition in any way and has no involvement in preparing the draft. Furthermore, even though Shaheen Anam is the executive director of Manusher Jonyo Foundation, she was not involved in preparing the draft either. On behalf of the Hindu people, we apologise and protest against the propaganda being spread about them," read the press release.
It may be mentioned here that it was Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who called upon Hindu leaders to enact the Hindu Law of Inheritance at a Janmashtami festival in 2016. She also mentioned the matter of equal inheritance for Hindu men and women on National Legal Aid Day in 2019.
In keeping with this, the coalition prepared a draft with the aim of giving equal rights to Hindu citizens to the property of their parents.
Lawmaker Aroma Dutt, Nina Goswami of Ain O Salish Kendra, Dipali Chakravarty of Hindu Buddhist Christian Mahila Oikya Parishad, Advocate Ramlal Raha of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Arpita Das of Manusher Jonyo Foundation, Advocate Tajul Islam of BLAST, Rita Das Roy of Naripokkho, Sabrina Sultana of RDRS, and human rights activists Reena Roy, Kalpana Basu, Ruma Haldar, Krishna Chanda and Sanchita Talukder signed the press release on behalf of the Citizens' Initiative for Enacting Hindu Law (CIEHL) coalition.