Agartala: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans a "long march to Dhaka" on Monday to protest against reported atrocities on religious minorities in Bangladesh and express solidarity with protestors demanding death penalty for those convicted of war crimes.
"Over 700 BJP activists, including women, would participate in the 'long march to Dhaka' to protest atrocities on religious minorities and their installations in Bangladesh. This rally is also to express solidarity with protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha," BJP's Tripura unit president Sudhindra Dasgupta told reporters.
"We know that our protest march would not be allowed to enter Bangladesh, but we cannot remain silent over the series of atrocities on minorities, specially Hindus, in Bangladesh. BJP workers would try to breach the border at the Akhaurah checkpost," he added.
The BJP leader gave a detailed description of attacks on minorities and their places of worships at various places in Bangladesh. "The minorities in Bangladesh have no security of life and property," he said.
The 'long march to Dhaka' is in support of BJP's five-point charter of demands, which includes reconstruction of damaged shrines, compensation to the affected families and security to the people belonging to religious minorities.
According to Dasgupta, religious minorities accounted for 46 per cent of population in East Pakistan (before creation of Bangladesh) and even after the partition in 1947.
"Following attacks by fundamentalists, the percentage reduced to 28 after creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and now it has come down to 10 percent."
"Our 'long march to Dhaka' is also to convey the BJP's solidarity with protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha," he added.
Ganajagaran Mancha, a platform of young intellectuals and activists, has been organising protests across Bangladesh since Feburary 5 demanding death penalty for all war criminals during the country's liberation war in 1971 and a ban on 'Jamaat-e-Islami', an organisation backed by fundamentalists.
Intellectuals, law makers, artists, singers, academicians, journalists, writers and poets of Bangladesh and India have also organised many programmes in Agartala and numerous events to express solidarity with the protestors of Ganajagaran Mancha in Bangladesh.