Police arrested Pritam Das, the Hindu leader of the tea workers’ movement in Sylhet, Bangladesh, on charges of insulting Islam. The police filed a case against him under the Digital Security Act, accusing him of insulting Islam. Pritam Das is currently in police custody.
It should be mentioned that some time ago, the local tea workers started a movement in Sylhet demanding an increase in wages. All these tea workers belong to the minority Hindu community. As a result of the agitation, the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced to increase in the wages of tea workers from Tk 120 to Tk 145. But Pritam Das and other agitating leaders did not agree on these low wages. They announced that they would refrain from attending work and continue their agitation for their fair wage demands. After that, the wages of tea workers were increased to 175 Tk.
Mainly because of this incident, Pritam Das fell under the wrath of the local leaders and activists of the ruling party and radical Islamist groups. As a result, the radical fanatic group and the local leaders of the Awami League created a communal issue and started conspiring against Pritam Das.
On September 1, the local fanatic fundamentalist Islamists and the local Awami League leaders and activists started a movement against Pritam Das by falsely accusing him of insulting Islam. The movement announced that if the police do not arrest Pritam Das, they would take action against Pritam Das themselves after Friday prayers.
Following this warning of local Islamists, the police arrested Pritam Das yesterday on charges of insulting Islam under the Digital Security Act. The Bangladesh government and local police administration there are well aware of the issue. Government party leaders themselves are involved in the communal conspiracy against Pritam Das. Currently, Pritam Das, his family and the local Hindu community are in a state of fear.