December 12, 2016: In front of the White House, Bangladeshi Hindus have held a peaceful protest to urge outgoing US President Barack Obama to protect and to stop the “persecution” of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country.
A memorandum submitted by protesters to Obama said,”We believe you are a person of great sensitivity and resolve, and would find the situation in Bangladesh with respect to the minority communities deplorable. We would like to request you, if it is possible, to convey our anxiety regarding Bangladesh to the next administration.”
According to PTI, “Organised by Hindu-Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA dozens of protesters conveyed their deep concern regarding the allegedly passive role of the Bangladeshi government in coming to the rescue of the affected or in taking legal measures against the perpetrators.”
“The destruction of Hindu households and temples, the usurping of Hindu lands and occasional killing and rape have become a norm in the present day Bangladesh. In fact, in recent weeks, the news of two more premeditated attacks were documented during which the party in power was complicit, and no actions were taken by the authorities to assist or support the victims and their families,” the memorandum said.
Last month, a similar demonstration was held by the same organisation in front of the Trump Towers in New York.
“President-elect Donald Trump had attended a charity event before the election to raise funds for the terrorism. Bangladeshi Hindus who are victims of terrorism. I am sure, he would take up our cause too,” said protester Sitangshu Guha.
Jay Kansara of the Hindu American Foundation said that protecting Bangladesh from falling into the trap of ISIS is the ‘most pressing priorities’.
He said in his brief address to the protesters, which included women and children, “Because if Bengal falls to extremism, then there would be no recourse to that.”
The memorandum alleged that the present government of Bangladesh occasionally spouted words of secularism, but in reality was following a path of ethnic cleansing that was instituted by Pakistan almost seventy years ago.
“We would like to appeal to you to impress upon the Bangladesh government to consider the following pathways in order to end the minority cleansing and persecution in Bangladesh,” the memorandum said.
Nabendu Bikash Dutta, president Hindu Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA said, “Bangladesh was liberated from Pakistan with the great hope that there would be no communal feeing or communal force, but in the last seven years we see as many as 273 cases have been filed against the attack on minorities in Bangladesh.”
A Bangladeshi cafe was attacked in July by terrorists which killed 22 people including an Indian girl.
by NewsGram team eith PTI inputs