Bangladesh: Unite against government to fight fanatics

The Daily Star
Women's organisations urge progressive, pro-liberation forces.
Leaders of 32 women's organisations at a rally yesterday vowed to topple the BNP-led four-party alliance government to bring the present unbearable situation to an end.
They called on all democratic, progressive and pro-liberation forces to unite against the government to drive out the fanatics.

Sarbastarer Nari Samaj, a platform of women from all walks of life, organised the rally at the Central Shaheed Minar to protest the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally that left 19 people, including AL leader Ivy Rahman, dead and over 200 injured.

Hundreds of women joined the rally to condemn the attack. They also prayed for salvation of the departed souls and expressed sympathy to the families of the dead and the injured.

The leaders criticised the government for its failure to nab any culprit even after 11 days of the incident.

They demanded an international investigation into the grisly attack and publication of the probe report.

Mahila Parishad, Mahila Samity, Mohila Awami League, Nijera Kori, Ain o Salish Kendra, Nari Pragati Sangha, Karmojibi Nari, Samata, Usha, Step Towards Development, Nari Pakkha, Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad and Samajik Protirodh Committee took part in the rally.

Blaming the government for the grenade attack, AL leader Motia Chowdhury said the four-party alliance was also repressing women. Police always intercept the procession of women and resort to repression on them, she added.

Women's rights could not be ensured unless this government is dislodged, she said.

Khushi Kabir, convenor of the Nijera Kori, said the grenade attack was a threat to democracy, women's rights and progressive forces.

Hena Das, president of Mohila Parishad, presided over the rally. Prof Momtaz Begum, Selina Khanam, Farida Akhtar, Shirin Haq, Sultana Akhtar and Khaleda Khanam also spoke.

Later, they took out a procession that ended near the Supreme Court.