Bangladesh: Minority groups from Chattogram march to Dhaka demanding rights, security

The largest minority organization of the country Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad completed its march to Dhaka from Chattogram on Saturday. The Oikya Parishad Presidium member Kajal Debnath said that they handed over a memorandum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after the police stopped the march on Shahbagh intersection from proceeding further.

The memorandum put forward a number of demands including the enactment of the minorities protection act, formation of a separate ministry for the minority communities and national commission of minorities. It also demanded that the government should enact laws against discrimination, interstate property conservation act and properly implement the entrusted property transfer act and the Chattogram Hill Tracts peace accord.

Earlier, speakers at the rally held at Suhrawardy Udyan near the Ramna Kali Mandir in Dhaka urged the ruling Awami League to fulfil its promises to the minority community as contained in its election manifesto of 2018. Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Rana Dasgupta said that the secular constitution of the country was transformed into a communal one and Islam was declared the state religion in 1988. Rana Dasgupta said that many religious-ethnic minorities were forced to emigrate from Bangladesh due to oppression and discrimination faced by them.

The Parishad announced that a torchlight procession will be organised across all upazilas, union and districts of Bangladesh on 24 February to give impetus to the demands of the religions and ethnic minority groups of the country.

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