Ripples of attack on minorities in Bangladesh felt in India, intellectuals blame Hasina indifference

Sheikh Hasina

The murmurs of unrest and communal frenzy in Bangladesh and grievance over alleged lack of action of the government in that country are growing louder in India.

Are radical outfits in Bangladesh getting government patronage? This question is doing the rounds among a cross section of people in India.
Bangladesh Liberation War veteran Bimal Pramanik, who had later migrated to India to evade murder attempt by pro-Pakistani elements in Bangladesh, largely blamed the Sheikh Hasina government for the mess.
“There is no fundamental difference between Hasina led-Awami League and Zia-led BNP. Both parties have failed to protect rights of minorities in that country. Neither Hasina nor Zia has any concern for Hindus. Despite India’s role in saving Bangladesh from Pakistani oppressors, Bangladesh is toeing the line of Pakistan. In this process, Bangladesh enjoyed good support from India and later ditched the big brother which helped the country not only get Independence but also prosper post-Independence,” Pramanik said.
On Tuesday, Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist and Christian Unity Council, made an allegation that was serious enough to indicate that the government in that country is not ‘sincere’ to ensure safety and security of Hindus and other minorities in times of unprecedented crisis that arose out of a series of anti-France rally by radical outfits and amid rising incidents of state’s crackdown on Hindu students.

Dasgupta said, “It is easy to put blame on someone on the basis of Facebook post which does not even mention any word on Prophet Muhammad. There are numerous instances, where students or other individuals never made objectionable comments against any religion, but only hailed French President Emanuel Macron for his anti-terror crackdown. But all of them were arrested after they were made scapegoats for just practicing a different religion. Such actions defy logic and can’t be acceptable in a democratic country,” Dasgupta said.
He presented the cases of students whose Facebook accounts were hacked by radical elements, who posed comments on Facebook with an intention to torment the innocent students.
“In today’s time, there are instances of security breaches. Facebook accounts of persons are hacked and misused by criminals to serve their own agenda. In a country like Bangladesh, it’s very common. Earlier also, we detected such cases and complained to police before bringing it to ministry’s notice. We want justice which is denied still,” Dasgupta added.
He specially referred the case of Professor of Chittagong University Kushal Baran Chakraborty, who was threatened by a person in a Facebook audio recently.
“Professor Kushal Baran Chakraborty was threatened with murder by the caller, who claimed he is waiting for the order of his amir (leader) along with 10,000 mujahids to unleash mayhem on Hindus, who, according to the caller, would be annihilated by 2025. First of all, you can’t issue threat to a community and second such a threat can’t be directed to the authority of a democratic country where a rule of law is prevailing. Bangladesh is not a lawless country. There is a democratically elected government which looks after law and order issues,” he further said.

On Wednesday, reacting on Dasgupta’s coment, Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan too echoed the claim of Islamic radicals, who alleged the Hindu students of insulting Islam.
“Our government is doing its bit to ensure peace at a time when some people are attempting to insult our prophet,” Khan said.
Khan’s comment has angered many rights activists and secular intellectuals in Bangladesh and India.

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