Dhaka failed to prevent attacks on Hindus: Rights panel

Dhaka, Jan 8 : The Bangladesh government failed to prevent attacks on the minority Hindu community after the Jan 5 parliamentary elections, the National Human Rights Commission said Wednesday.

"The minorities are being tortured across the country. The state and government are responsible for securing their lives and property," quoted commission chairman Mizanur Rahman as saying.

"The government is yet to take any effective step," he said.

Houses of Hindus were attacked, torched and ransacked in various places, including Jessore and Dinajpur districts, after the elections, the commission said in a report.

Rahman asked the government to give exemplary punishment to those committing atrocities.

He said a presiding officer was killed in the presence of security personnel during the elections, and voters and minorities were being tortured.

Thousands of people now want to cross the border in search of safety, he stressed.

"The government is giving us hope but failing to prove its mettle. If the failure persists, secular Bangladesh will be in danger," Rahman said.

The human rights panel chief appealed to everyone to resist the communal violence.

Mired in controversy, the elections were held in just 147 out of 300 seats in 59 out of 64 districts of the country.

Some 21 parties, including former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party, boycotted the polls over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's refusal to introduce a non-party interim government to oversee the elections.

--IANS (Posted on 08-01-2014)

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