Countrywide protests flared up by recent targeted violence and orchestrated religious hatred on Hindu community reiterated Tuesday that Bangladeshis believe in communal harmony and the countrymen stand by the Hindu community who endured a shock from communal tensions, vandalism and arson.
"Do not get frightened my Hindu brothers and sisters. Sheikh Hasina and Awami League are with you," said ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader with a vow to resist communal evils together.
"Awami League leaders and activists are ready to give a befitting answer by confronting the communal evils," Quader told a "harmony rally" in front of Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on Tuesday.
The ruling party leader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said communal tensions and violence in Bangladesh is endangering the lives of a large number of Muslims in India, and all should think about them too.
After the rally, a procession was brought out from Bangabandhu Avenue which rounded Dhaka Zero Point, Shikhha Bhaban, Doel Chattar and ended on the central Shaheed Minar premises.
On Wednesday last week, a reported incident involving the holy Quran stoked communal tension in Cumilla. The incident also sparked a storm on social media as temples and puja celebrations came under attack in several districts. The spate of violence claimed six lives, including four in Chandpur on Wednesday last week.
While the Hindu community was still in deep shock, Hindu houses were set on fire in Rangpur's Pirganj upazila centring a Facebook post on Sunday night.
Like the previous day, Dhaka University students staged demonstrations against communal crimes. Dhaka University's Theater and Performance Studies Department organized an "artistic protest" at the foot of the Aparajeo Bangla.
Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) also formed a human chain protesting the recent incidents of communal violence. DUTA Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahim, said, "The Cumilla incident was not an isolated event. It was pre-planned."
"I, as a resident of Cumilla, would like to apologise to the Hindu community. I feel ashamed," former vice-chancellor (VC) of Jagannath University Professor Mizanur Rahman told the programme.
Apart from the central harmony rally in Dhaka, district and grassroots leaders of ruling Awami League also observed harmony programmes yesterday. Besides, several socio-cultural organisations also took to the street protesting the violence against religious minorities.
After visiting the Cumilla temple yesterday, Member of the Parliament (MP) Pankaj Debnath said, "Since this country is ours and we are not going anywhere, the communal forces will have to be resisted unitedly."
The MP yesterday also visited temples damaged in communal tensions and said "Such attacks and destruction cannot make us leave the country as we firmly love Bangladesh and the people."
While addressing a harmony rally in Satkhira, local MP Mir Mostaq Ahmed Robi said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. Those who do not want the good of the country are continuing various conspiracies to destabilise the country. Everyone must be united, alert and vigilant to resist them."
Rajshahi Journalists Union formed a human chain at the district headquarters yesterday protesting the religious violence and attacks on the Hindu community.
The protesters said the Constitution of 1972 needs to be restored to stop communal violence and attacks. Besides, those who committed the violence and attacks must be brought to justice immediately.
Bhola district Awami League formed a human chain in front of Bhola Press Club Tuesday. The participants at the programme said if a vested quarter orchestrates anarchy and sabotages a peace-loving nation, they will meet with bitter consequences.
In Dinajpur, Awami League and its youth wing Jubo League, and other socio-cultural organisations staged harmony rallies and mass gathering yesterday. Similar programmes were held in Netrokona and Mongla.