BJP to 'march to Dhaka' to protest attacks on
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 »
Over 800 BJP workers were stopped in their bid to enter Bangladesh
Monday to protest atrocities on minorities and join protestors
demanding the death penalty for those convicted of war crimes in
that neighbouring counttry, police officials here said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres tried to enter Bangladesh
through the Akhaurah checkpost near here. They were led by state
party president Sudhindra Dasgupta.
"A huge contingent of police led by senior officials stopped the
march 500 metres from the Akhaurah checkpost. There was no major
trouble," a police official told IANS.
Additional troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) have been
deployed at the Akhaurah border to foil further attempts by BJP
cadres to enter Bangladesh.
"The march to Dhaka was organised to protest atrocities on
religious minorities and their installations in Bangladesh. The
rally was also to express solidarity with protestors of
Ganajagaran Mancha," Dasgupta told reporters.
Ganajagaran Mancha, a platform of intellectuals and activists, has
been organising protests across Bangladesh since Feb 5 to press
demand for the death penalty for all war criminals during the
country's liberation from Pakistan in 1971 and a ban on
Jamaat-e-Islami, an organisation backed by fundamentalists.
The march to Dhaka was in support of the BJP's five-point charter
of demands, which includes reconstruction of damaged shrines,
compensation to families affected by religious strife and security
to people from religious minority communities.
BJP leaders have submitted a letter at the Bangladesh diplomatic
mission in Agartala addressed to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina requesting her to take steps to stop attacks on people
belonging to religious minorities.
According to Dasgupta, religious minorities had accounted for 46
percent of the population in East Pakistan (before the creation of
Bangladesh) and even after the partition in 1947.
"Following attacks by fundamentalists, the percentage reduced to
28 after Bangladesh was created in 1971 and now it has fallen to
10 percent," Dasgupta said.
Intellectuals, law-makers, artists, singers, academicians,
journalists, writers and poets of Bangladesh and India have
organised programmes in Agartala in solidarity with the protestors
of Ganajagaran Mancha in Bangladesh.