BNP-Jamaat is a threat to communal harmony: Sajeeb Wazed

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Published on August 14, 2023
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Fear was written all over their faces. Some were survivors of gang rape, some had their hands and legs chopped off, while others were still reeling from the shock of losing loved ones. All of them belong to different minority communities and their allegiance to Awami League was the only fault according to BNP-Jamaat cadres who unleashed terror on them, according to a video posted by ICT Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister Sajeeb Wazed Joy on X, formerly known Twitter.

Accounts of unprecedented torture at the hands of BNP-Jamaat men recounted by survivours have been documented in the video produced by rights activists. Such accounts expose why the BNP-Jamaat coalition is a threat to communal harmony in Bangladesh, Sajeeb Wazed reminded all.

“Just because my parents are considered Awami League voters, a gang of BNP-Jamaat men abducted me from my house, took me to a place where they came one after another like beasts and left me violated,” a 12-year-old girl can be heard sobbing in the video.

“They didn’t even spare the money, I saved for my daughter’s wedding,” added the mother of the rape survivor.

“If those who destroyed your home, looted your valuables, and killed your brother continue to issue threats of fresh attacks, how can you stay in this country? All this torture and violence because they (local BNP-Jamaat men) consider us loyal supporters of Awami League,” a number of elderly women and men from the minority community are heard saying in the video.

Even days ahead of the 2001 national election, BNP-Jamaat men employed intimidation tactics, according to the video.

“If you go to polling centers, no one will be able to bring your corpses back,” a number of women from the minority community can be heard saying in the video.

Between 2001 and 2006, during the last stint of the BNP-Jamaat government, such tales of brutality and state-sponsored terror descended on their lives, as communal harmony took a backseat, the video narrates.

Minority community leaders say, at least 25,000 similar cases of attacks were orchestrated during a countrywide campaign against minorities back then, while militants were embraced by top leadership of BNP including Tarique Rahman, according to the video posted by Sajeeb Wazed.

“As militants and fundamentalist forces were reportedly embraced by BNP’s top brass including Tarique Rahman and were allowed to operate under state patronage, minorities bore the brunt,” Sajeeb Wazed wrote.

“In 1977, under BNP founder Gen. Ziaur Rahman's watch, the core tenets of a non-communal polity was destroyed, a legacy to turn the county into a communal one carried forward by his successors,” he added.

While in opposition, between 2013 and 2015, a similar spate of attacks were unleashed on minorities, including torching places of worship, orchestrated by BNP-Jamaat coalition, his tweet further said.

Sajeeb Wazed’s tweet came in response to recent attempts by BNP leadership to project “minorities are not safe under Awami League rule".

Meanwhile, minority community leaders have slammed BNP leaders over their efforts at what they called “whitewashing” the unspeakable atrocities unleashed on minorities. Gang rape survivor Purnima Rani called Tarique Rahman “a disease for the country".

Rana Das Gupta, eminent rights activist and a leader of the country’s largest minority platform, criticized BNP and called the acts “crimes against humanity".

Archbishop Emeritus Patrick D'Rozario rejected the projection of the state of Bangladesh's Christian community as being "persecuted" under the current government as per the much-contested recent letter by six US congressmen to President Biden. Calling such assertions "incorrect," the former Archbishop of Dhaka insisted that the government has stood by the Christian community in Bangladesh against bigots.