Agartala: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans a "long march to Dhaka" Monday
to protest against reported atrocities on religious minorities in
Bangladesh and express solidarity with protestors demanding death
penalty for those convicted of war crimes.
"Over 700 BJP activists, including women, would participate in the
'long march to Dhaka' to protest atrocities on religious
minorities and their installations in Bangladesh. This rally is
also to express solidarity with protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha,"
BJP's Tripura unit president Sudhindra Dasgupta told reporters.
"We know that our protest march would not be allowed to enter
Bangladesh, but we cannot remain silent over the series of
atrocities on minorities, specially Hindus, in Bangladesh. BJP
workers would try to breach the border at the Akhaurah checkpost,"
The BJP leader gave a detailed description of attacks on
minorities and their places of worships at various places in
Bangladesh. "The minorities in Bangladesh have no security of life
and property," he said.
The 'long march to Dhaka' is in support of BJP's five-point
charter of demands, which includes reconstruction of damaged
shrines, compensation to the affected families and security to the
people belonging to religious minorities.
According to Dasgupta, religious minorities accounted for 46
percent of population in East Pakistan (before creation of
Bangladesh) and even after the partition in 1947.
"Following attacks by fundamentalists, the percentage reduced to
28 after creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and now it has come down
to 10 percent."
"Our 'long march to Dhaka' is also to convey the BJP's solidarity
with protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha," he added.
Ganajagaran Mancha, a platform of young intellectuals and
activists, has been organising protests across Bangladesh since
Feb 5 demanding death penalty for all war criminals during the
country's liberation war in 1971 and a ban on 'Jamaat-e-Islami',
an organisation backed by fundamentalists.
Intellectuals, law makers, artists, singers, academicians,
journalists, writers and poets of Bangladesh and India have also
organised many programmes in Agartala and numerous events to
express solidarity with the protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha in