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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

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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