Khaleda condemns attacks on Hindus
Dhaka, Mar 5 : Bangladesh Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia has condemned the attacks on Hindus allegedly by Jamaat-e-Islami activists in different parts of the country.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief said the government should identify the perpetrators and punish them.
However, she did not mention Jamaat-e-Islami who allegedly attacked Hindus.
"I called upon the administration and law enforcers to stop such attacks on minorities with an iron hand," Khaleda Zia said.
Jamaat is an alliance partner of the main opposition BNP led by Khaleda Zia.
The violence in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the death penalty verdict against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for the 1971 war crimes has claimed 80 lives so far.
According to reports, houses and temples belonging to Hindu community were attacked in several districts of Bangladesh including Noakhali, Satkhira and Sirajganj on Thursday.
Jamaat earlier issued a press statement urging for communal harmony and denying attacking Hindu or Buddhist temples.
Acting Amir of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Makbul Ahmed in his statement said: "Bangladesh is a land where religious differences are cherished. We proudly uphold religious and communal harmony among our people. Bangladesh Jamaat-E-Islami respects all religions and their people. The Jamaat despises interfering with someone's religious rights."
"Bangladesh Jamaat-E-Islami has absolutely no connection with the criminals that attacked, vandalized, burned or otherwise harmed Hindu, Buddhist, temples or any place of worship belonging to any other faiths," he said.
"We are witnessing in front of us a genocide being carried out on the Islamic scholars and ordinary Muslims of this country. The police are shooting people indiscriminately. The government has closed the north gate of Baitul Mukarram."
"The government is trying to distract people from these destructive activities by blaming Jamaat and Shibir for the attacks on non Muslims, which in all likelihood were perpetrated by the ruling party members," Ahmed said.
The two-day general strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami that ended on Monday had hit normal life in the country.
Violence broke out in the country since Thursday after Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by a tribunal for several crimes like mass killings, torture, rape and looting and forcible religious conversion during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 when the country attained freedom from Pakistan after a bloody struggle that left countless dead and thousands of women outraged.