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Violence in Bangladesh orchestrated to disrupt communal harmony: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Violence in Bangladesh orchestrated to disrupt communal harmony: PM Sheikh Hasina
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Dhaka: Recent incidents of harrowing communal violence against minority Hindus in Bangladesh is orchestrated by certain quarters with vested interests to create a communal divide and tarnish the image of the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday.

"No one can make Bangladesh go backwards. Some of the incidents that we occasionally see are orchestrated. It is being done intentionally so that Bangladesh's image is damaged," Prime Minister Hasina was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com.

Attacks on Hindu temples intensified in Bangladesh from October 13 after an alleged blasphemous post surfaced on social media during the Durga Puja celebrations. On the night of October 17, a mob damaged 66 houses and set on fire at least 20 homes of Hindus in Bangladesh.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Payra bridge in southern Bangladesh, Hasina said that "No matter how much good work we do, there is a quarter that is occupied with discrediting Bangladesh. What do they want? They don't want the normal democratic process to continue in this country."

She, however, did not name anyone and urged people to be wary of the attempts to destabilise the country.

Eight people died as communal violence spread to several other districts amid the festivities, the report said.

Bangladesh's security agencies on Saturday arrested Shaikat Mandal, who is believed to be the second key suspect behind the recent violence. His arrest came a day after police had nabbed Iqbal Hossain, 35, the key suspect from the Cox Bazar area.

So far, police have arrested nearly 600 people from various parts of the country for inciting violence against the Hindus during the Durga Puja festivities.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hasina instructed her home minister to initiate immediate action against those who incited violence using religion as she asked the people not to trust anything on social media without fact-checking.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement underlined that the Government of Bangladesh "unequivocally condemned those incidents and took serious note of the reactions from within and outside the Hindu community."

The violence has been widely condemned by the United Nations. UN's resident coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said that the attacks on Hindus are against the values of the country's Constitution and need to stop.

Hindus constitute around 10 per cent of Muslim-majority Bangladesh's 169 million population.

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TAGS:bangladesh violence PM Sheikh Hasina. 
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