B`desh HC asks govt to submit report on extremists
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 23:55
Dhaka: Bangladesh High Court on Tuesday asked the government to report in next seven days the legal steps it has taken against religious dogmatists who assaulted several mystic singers in western Rajbari earlier this month.

A High Court bench comprising judges Syed Mohammad Ziaul Karim and ANM Bashir Ullah issued the order asking the attorney general's office to submit a report on the legal and punitive steps under affidavit within the period.

Responding a writ by college teacher, the bench also issued a simultaneous rule demanding an explanation within four weeks why the government should not be directed to take steps to protect the religious rights of the mystic devotees.

The orders came two weeks after suspected group of villagers assaulted 28 mystic signers known as "bauls" and cut their hair and moustaches calling their activities anti-Islamic as they stormed the house of Mohammad Fakir where the devotees were performing Lalon songs.

The religious affairs secretary and chief of police and elite Rapid Action Battalion and concerned administrative and police officials will have to reply the rules.

The attackers vandalised the microphone and other musical instruments, and ordered the devotees to stop the soiree.

The bauls came to the village to join a two-day annual cultural event of Sadhu Sanga, an organisation of followers of Fakir Lalon Shah, a 19th century Bengali mystic philosopher, at Ramnagar village of the district.

The incident sparked countrywide protests as earlier this week police arrested a madrasah principal in line with a case filed by fellow villager and Lalon devotee Mohammad Fakir of Ramnagar against 13 suspected religious bigots.

Lalon devotees joined by cultural activists staged street protests at Pangsha demanding immediate arrest and punishment of the culprits. Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) also staged protests on identical demands.


First Published: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 23:55

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