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Violence in Bangladesh
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The violence that erupted in Bangladesh on October 13, in connection with Durga Puja has not fully abated even as we write this. The incidents are capable of creating disturbance and fear among the Hindu minority of Bangladesh who form 10 per cent of the population. It is customary there to raise pooja pandals in cities and squares as part of Durga Puja rituals. The troubles started in connection with a puja pandal set up in Nanua Dighir Par, in Comilla district. It was the discovery that a copy of the Holy Quran was placed under the feet of a Durga idol installed there. And it took no time for the video pictures of this to circulate far and wide which led to disturbance on 13th itself. Several temples and puja pandals were attacked. The police was forced to resort to firing to disperse the protesters. From the next day onwards, other towns and cities in Bangladesh also started witnessing the violence. Processions were held under the leadership of Muslim youth in many prominent towns of the country. Temples and temporary pandals raised for Durga puja were vandalised in large numbers. When the police fired at a group that came to attack a Hindu temple in Hajiganj, that alone killed four people. Reports say that eight people were killed in all. News about processionists being killed in police firing on the one hand, and of more temples being attacked on the other have been circulated by both sides at a wide scale. The government has disconnected internet connectivity in the country to prevent further trouble.

Prime Minister Hasina Wajid assured the Hindu leaders directly that miscreants would be identified and violence put down. Reports have also emerged that at the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, she issued strict instructions to the home minister to locate all culprits and hand them exemplary punishment. For India, Bangladesh is a neighbouring country maintaining healthy neighbourly relations. And Sheikh Hasina Wajid is held in high esteem by the Indian leadership. The statement released by the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi has lauded the positive intervention made by the Bangladesh government in bringing the confrontations under control. Overall, going by official responses India is satisfied with the actions of Hasina Wajid. At the same time, the leader of the Bangladesh unit of Hindu organisation ISKCON, Charu Chandra Das Brahmachari has expressed shock and anger at the Indian stand. He also alleges that the leaders of the ruling party Awami League has a role in the conflicts. The criticism by Das Gupta will be a set back to the stances of Hasina Wajid and Awami League that puts on a friendly face before India.

It remains to be uncovered who smuggled in a copy of the Holy Quran in the Puja pandal of Comilla. So far there has been no clarity about who did it, and the police has just initiated its inquiry in that direction. But the police has by now arrested two young men who shot a video of that and posted it in Facebook. Now it is upto the government to conduct an impartial inquiry, find out the culprits and give them exemplary punishment. Bangladesh is a country having made big strides in the world's economic sphere. The advances and development that country has attained over the last five to six years is extensively talked about among economists at international level. All such analysis highlight the fact that the major factor that played a role in the progress in production of the country is the large percentage of youths in the country's population. As such, those who sow seeds of trouble and put that young generation - who should be playing active role in the production and development process of the nation - are to be seen as anti-humans and traitors. And there should be no mincing of words from any side to denounce that section. In fact, the worth of a country is measured not solely based on economic and production expansion, but on how members of the weaker and minority sections in it are treated. Viewed that way, the fact that there have been countrywide attacks on the Hindu minority and their places of worship has damaged the image of Bangladesh. And it is for them to wipe off such an impression. A solution to this can be achieved only by ensuring that the Hindu minority has an equal place like others in the mainstream of the country and by healing their wounds.


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TAGS:Bangladesh violence Durga puja pandals police firing desecration of Quran 
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