Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mustafa Jabbar has said there should have been a provision under the Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018 to protect the minorities of the country as the act is viciously being used against the religious minorities on purpose.

The was speaking at a discussion titled “Victims of the Digital Security Act and real criminals” organized by the Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee on Saturday.

The minister said: “The problem doesn’t lie with the law, rather people who is using the law. But I still would like to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the state that you had to go through this,” said Mustafa Jabbar.

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He also condemned the procedure of law enforcement agencies arresting the victims in such situations in the name of providing security.

The objective of the discussion was to urge the government to withdraw the cases against the victims of falsified cases under DSA.

Some of the victims of religious minorities were present in the discussion to share their sufferings, pain, and loss.

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Courtesy

Shahriar Kabir, president of the Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee said the DSA was formulated for the benefit of the people but it was being misused by the anti-liberation groups to destroy the nation.

“All of them who are present here today have been subjected to victimization just because of their religion. The act which was passed with a good intention has now become a weapon for communal violence. Our demand is clear, we want all of these cases to be removed against these victims immediately.”

Hridoy Chandra Mandal, the teacher from Munshiganj whose arrest created controversy all over the country for teaching science in his classroom, shared how his life changed after he returned to the classroom from jail.

He said: “My family and I are now living in fear. Still, people taunt and abuse us sometimes. Just two weeks back, I got a threat over a phone call against my daughter.

“Now I feel hesitant to teach every topic of science in my class. I skip a lot of topics. The students who agitated and initiated the whole rally against me still try to taunt me behind my back. I can sense these,” he added.

Shankar Debnath, the founder and school teacher of Blue Bird Kindergarten and the prime victim of Nasirnagar attack at Comilla, is still in hiding with her wife after a group of extremists burned down their ancestral home over the rumour of hurting religious sentiments.

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“Everything including the respect, dignity, and recognition I achieved in the 22 years of my teaching life burned down to ashes after that attack. My home and school were burned down but the police kept me in jail for four months and 11 days in the name of protection. On the other hand, those who actually committed the crime are roaming freely.” said Shankar.

He urged the government to exempt him from the case. “I Can’t take this anymore.”

The urges and demands were similar from the victims Ruma Sarkar, former assistant professor of Badrunnesa Government College, activist Jhumon Das from Sunamganj, activist Rakesh Roy of Sylhet, fisherman Rasraj Das of Brahmanbaria, and Comilla University student Joydeb Shil, who were present at the discussion.

The Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee announced that a commission named “Peoples’ Commission for the Elimination of Torture and Discrimination against Minorities” is being formed to assist such innocent victims of DSA with former justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik as chairman.

Member of Parliament Aroma Dutta, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Parishad President Kajal Debnath, Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee Brahmanbaria district unit Law Secretary Advocate Nasir Mia were also present at the event.

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By Peter