Communalism in India will have impact on Hindus here: Bangladesh PM cautions

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina hinted at India’s communalism and urged India to remain vigilant against the escalation of any communal violence. She said India should remain vigilant and not let religion create divisions among people.

Hasina was speaking on Thursday against the attacks across various Durga puja pandals in her country and in the same vein discussed India. Speaking virtually to a Hindu community at Dhakeswari temple in Dakha, the Prime Minister issued a stern warning to the instigators in Bangladesh and remarked that the elements disturbing communal harmony will be severely punished.

As per media reports, at least four persons were killed in Dhaka after violence broke out on Wednesday following social media allegations of blasphemy at a Durga Puja pandal in Comilla, about 100 kilometres from Dhaka. The violence in Comilla was followed by vandalism instances in Durga Puja pandals at Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua.

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Carrying forward from her cautionary note to India, Hasina said that “India did help us in the liberation war (of 1971) and we will remain ever grateful for the support.… But they (India) have to be aware that such incidents should not take place there which would have an impact on Bangladesh, and the Hindus in our country will suffer.”

This is perhaps the first instance of the Bangladeshi prime minister speaking out against communalism in India. The statement comes at a time when the Indian government has been accused of perpetuating an increasing number of attacks on Muslims.

Adding weight to her statements, the PM also argued that these incidents of communal violence were “ideas of some people who intended to disturb Bangladesh’s rapid progress”.

“People who can’t win the confidence of others, and lack ideology, indulge in acts of this nature. But vigilance is necessary at a time when action is taken against the perpetrators,” she added.

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