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  • Bangladesh Police Unearth Murder Plot

  • Press Release

  • Bangladesh Police Unearth Murder Plot

    The Bangladesh police has unearthed a secret plan by religious fanatics to assassinate the country's prominent intellectuals, particularly those who have voiced concern against fundamentalism and preach secularism and pro-liberation ideas.

    The plan was unearthed when several members of a group called "Harkatul Jihad" attempted to murder the poet, Mr. Shamsur Rahman, but failed due to timely intervention by his family members and neighbours. The attempt was made on the evening of January 18 at the Shaymali residence of the country's most popular poet. Four youths - entered the house on the pretext of meeting the poet to procure some writings from him. They then attacked his son and tried to hit the 70 year old poet with a "Chinese axe". Two of the culprits, one with a loaded rifle, were caught red-handed while two others fled. Mr. Rahman, who is equally popular among Bengali population in India, suffered minor injuries in the attack while his wife, who tried to resist the attackers, was seriously wounded.

    The police have arrested 10 members of the terrorist group from Dhaka and Barisal in connection with the assassination attempt. They have also seized several firearms from their hide outs in Dhaka, including addresses and plan documents to assassinate prominent poets, writers, educationalists and journalists.

    The attempt on Mr. Rahman reminds one the of gruesome murders of dozens of progressive intellectuals at the hands of the infamous Al-Bader killer group, at the fag end of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. Mr. Shamsur Rahman said he was saved mainly due to the timely intervention of his family members and neighbours.

    - Haroon Habib
    Dhaka, January 20, 1999

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    Press Release

    Jharkhandi's Organisation for Human Rights
    F -10/12   Malviya Nagar
    New Delhi   100 017

    On behalf of our organisation we condemn the dastardly and cowardly murder of the Christian Missionaries in the Jharkhand part of Orissa on 23rd January 99.

    We want it to be known that we the Adivasis (aboriginals) belong to a culture of harmony and tolerance, and will not allow such acts to be committed on our soil. While we condemn all kinds of religious fundamentalism, through this Press release we want it to be very clear that we will not tolerate our community being used by forces of the Sangh Parivar for their program.

    We also want it to be know that we have a culture and a spirituality that goes much beyond the advent of Brahaminism on this land. We wish to condemn and refute the claim made by some Sangh Parivar people that we Adivasis were originally Hindus and re-conversion is a 'home-coming'.

    Our culture and spirituality has its own philosophy and beauty quite distinct from the hierarchical tradition of Brahminical Hinduism, and we want this to be known and respected by one and all in this country.

    Bineet Mundu
    Convenor Delhi Circle
    26th January 1999.

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