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Editorial in Daily Pioneer | New Delhi | May 03, 2016:: The recent set of fatal attacks on outspoken Bangladeshi secularists underscores how the Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hasn’t been able to rein in the Islamists spreading terror in the country even as the latter have seemingly expanded their list of targets. Last week, Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s only magazine for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders, and his friend, were slain by half-a-dozen men. Days earlier, English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique was hacked to death in Rajshahi while Hindu tailor Nikhil Joardar was killed in Tangail. Before that, atheist law student Nazimuddin Samad was shot dead in Dhaka.
And this is only the list of people who have been targeted by Islamists in April alone. Last year, at least four secular bloggers were hacked to death while a publisher was fatally stabbed. Every time, the Government promised to bring the guilty to book and clamp down on this reign of terror. And every time, it seems to have fallen short. While in some cases, arrests have been made, there have been no convictions yet. It is no wonder then that the Islamists have been emboldened in their acts. Initially, the targets were chosen on the basis of one single consideration: Their views on the 1971 war crimes trial that has led to the conviction and death by hanging of some of the most senior leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Now, it seems like anyone that falls afoul of the JeM’s Islamist agenda, such as LGBT activists, are put on the hit list. This is, of course, in addition to religious minorities — Hindus, Christians and increasingly Shia and Ahmeddiya Muslims — who have always been a target in Bangladesh.
The main reason is that there hasn’t been an adequate response from the Government which may be too fragile and resource-starved to hit back. Yet, only a few years ago when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina committed her Government to flushing out militants — both Islamists and insurgents from India’s North-East — she did an admirable job. This time, however, there is some reluctance on her part to take on the Islamists on a war footing, possibly because she considers them to be too much of a mainstream force now. This is worrying.
Known for its troublemaking abilities and the disproportionate power it wields on the streets, the JeM overpowered its ally, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, emerging as the dominant partner in the relationship and effectively taking up the space of the country’s main opposition. This has now compelled the ruling Awami League, once staunchly committed to the secular cause but now fighting a strong anti-incumbency sentiment and corruption charges, to move closer to the religious Right. The JeM and its allies are expectedly using this opportunity to force their conservative, puritanical agenda in the country. A large-scale, Shahbag-style public uprising may help stem the rot but without proper political support and leadership, it has little chance of succeeding.
__Courtesy: Daily Pioneer.
The Procession of Dead Bodies in Bangladesh.
These Intellectuals and Rights Propagators hacked to death by Religion of Peace activists in the last two years:
In most of the cases, Al-Qaeda or the IS operatives have claimed responsibility. But, ruling Awami League Government in Bangladesh is failed to save the lives of the free thinkers, social activists and the vulnerable minority people in Bangladesh. ~ Editor, Hindu Existence.
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