AT least 14 Hindu families have been evicted by land grabbers, allegedly at the behest of a local Jubo League leader, in Taltaliupazila of Barguna district. According to the victims, the first three of these 14 families left their homes following threats and intimidation from powerful quarters in 2013, and the next two families in 2014. On March 12 this year, the rest of the families were also driven off their homestead land.
As per a report by ProthomAlo, the day after the nine families left, their homes were destroyed and their property looted by 40-50 goons, led by Jubo League leader ZakirHossain and his brother Abdus Salam. Locals claim that the grabbers, having failed to persuade the Hindu families to sell off their lands at low prices, were harassing, even assaulting them, eventually forcing them to move out; they are now leading a life of insecurity and instability.
We are appalled that the families were threatened and evicted over a protracted period, without any action taken against the perpetrators. It is inexplicable that even under the leadership of Awami League, which claims to be secular and pro-minority, such incidents are occurring, even, at times, at the bidding of party activists, who use their political clout to carry out such attacks with impunity.
The government must take a strong stance against powerful land grabbers, including party members, who take advantage of the vulnerability minority communities and use intimidation tactics to drive them off their land. It is the obligation of a state, more so, of a secular state, to ensure the safety and security of our minority communities.