Lack of trial in the past communal attacks, even in the sensational ones, instigates fresh violence, and the recent Narail incident is one such example, eminent citizens have said.
"Not a single case filed over the communal attacks at Ramu of Cox's Bazar in 2012 was tried. Again, no charge sheet has been placed in the case over the attack on minorities in Cumilla during Durga Puja last year," Ali Imam Majumdar, former cabinet secretary, told a seminar in the capital on Sunday.
"All the cases stalled. Communal attacks cannot be stopped if this culture of injustice continues," he added.
Referring to the Narail incident, economist Qazi Kholequzzaman said the government was supposed to form a probe committee in such a communal attack, but it did not do so.
They urged the government to bring the culprits behind the Narail attack on the Hindu community to book and ensure justice in all the previous cases.
The Citizen Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh organised the event at the Brac Centre Inn in the capital to express the reactions of citizens over the recent communal attacks, in which economist Debapriya Bhattacharya, academic Professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury, former justice MA Matin, among others, were present.
"The recent incidents of communal violence are communal in appearance but political in character. The state is also involved here," Serajul Islam Chowdhury said.
"The voices of Narail attackers are familiar to us. We heard that also in the British period, then in the Pakistan period. Still, we hear the words in today's Bangladesh, which means that the state has developed in appearance, but its character has not changed. This is the brutal truth."
He further added that despite the country's progress, there is a human cry. "Most people suffer from the development as inequality has been on the rise simultaneously."
The educationist called for a cultural change and stern government actions against communal violence.
Manusher Jonno Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Anam said that those communal attacks are all due to social media posts insulting religion. "Without proper cross-checking, people take part in the violence, police file cases and make mass arrests.
Kajal Debnath, former president of the Bangladesh Puja Celebration Council, said after 60 days Durga Puja will start. "Minorities are now apprehensive about the upcoming Puja celebration."
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, said such communal violence was once heard in India and Pakistan, but not in Bangladesh.
"Now, as people's involvement with politics decreases, such incidents are happening in Bangladesh."
Participating in the event, Hamlet Saha, a victim of the Narail communal attack, said although the attack was pre-planned, the administration did not take any action in this regard.
Several houses, shops and temples of the Hindu community were attacked and set on fire over a Facebook post allegedly belittling Islam at Digholia village of Narail's Lohagara upazila on 15 July.
A Hindu college student reportedly posted a controversial comment on Facebook, triggering anger among Muslims, who later carried out the attack.
The attackers vandalised more than ten houses and shops, including one owned by the student's father. The protesters threw brickbats and vandalised idols at Sahapara temple. Police at one stage fired blank rounds and brought the situation under control.