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Bangladesh: Nirmul Committee for withdrawal of state religion

20 January 2014

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Dhaka Tribune, January 20, 2014

Nirmul Committee for withdrawal of state religion
Abu Bakar Siddique

The pro-liberation front also suggested that the government speeds up the ongoing trial of the war criminals of the liberation war

Ekattorer Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee has demanded annulment of the provision of “state religion” in the constitution so that political parties like the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami cannot do politics based on religion in the country.

The front working for elimination of the killers and collaborators of 1971, urged the government to impose ban on the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami, because of its anti-liberation agenda and trend of unleashing violence in the name of politics.

The pro-liberation front also suggested that the government speeds up the ongoing trial of the war criminals of the liberation war, at a discussion held yesterday marking the 22th founding anniversary of the committee.

“The religion based political party [Jamaat] has been running its activities in the name of Islam and does not believe in the spirit of the religion. Rather they are destroying the harmony among people,” said Shahriar Kabir, the acting president of the committee.

The provision of state religion in the constitution had created disparity among people of different religions in the country, he said.

Sammilita Islami Jote’s President Maulana Ziaul Hasan said the inclusion of Islam as state religion in the constitution was against the spirit of Islam. Islam does not believe in division among people of different religions.

A discussion on “Movement of Shaheed Jahanara Imam: roles of the government and civil society” was held at Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium of the National Museum on the occasion.

Professor Anisuzzaman of Bangla at the University of Dhaka (DU) said to complete the trial on time government should take initiative to avoid procrastination of the defence lawyers on different excuses.

It should take steps to disseminate a concrete idea over the War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh among the common people of the country, because, Jamaat had already created confusion among people through smear campaigns against it, he said.

Muntassir Mamoon, a professor of history at DU and a veteran member of the committee, urged the government to recruit the Chairman of International Crimes Tribunal 1 as soon as possible.

The chairman seat for International Crimes Tribunal 1 was vacated after Justice ATM Fazle Kabir retired on December 31 for age limitation.

Replying to his call, Law Minister Anisul Haque said the government would try to recruit a new Chairman as soon as possible to speed up the trial process.
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