Bangladesh: Government asked to report on minority attacks by High Court

Ain-O-Salish Kendra (ASK)
A Division Bench of the High court has issued a rule nisi on the Bangladeshi government to investigate recent attacks on religious minorities as reported by the NGO Ain-O-Salish Kendra (ASK) and to submit a report on the matter by 15 January 2001.
It also issued a show cause notice on the government asking it why it would not be instructed to punish the persons responsible for attacking religious minorities in different areas of the country. The bench comprising Justice MA Matin and Justice Marziul Huq issued the rule on a writ petition filed by ASK. Dr. Kamal Hossain, Dr M Zahir, Advocate Tabarak Hossain and Advocate Abu Obaedur Rahman moved the four-point petition on behalf of ASK. Attorney General AF Hasan Arif represented the government.
Earlier on Saturday, the same Bench issued a rule nisi asking the government to reply within four weeks why it would not take steps to stop post-election terrorist attacks and harassment of religious minorities. The ASK petition stated that since announcement of election schedule for the eighth parliament, religious minorities in the country had come under various threats, attacks and persecution. Their properties were looted and women and children were raped.

The petition cited its own investigation and newspaper reports in this regard and sought the court's directive to the home ministry and police administration to perform their duties in view of their failure to discharge their constitutional obligations.

Excepting a disciplinary action against a police superintendent in Bhola, and few arrests of alleged attackers in some places, the government so far took no measures to ensure safety of religious minorities.