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Our minorities need no foreign help: Bangladesh Minister

Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu.  

Bangladesh on Monday said it did not need any foreign help to provide security to its religious minorities despite a recent wave of deadly attacks by Islamists targeting Hindus and other communities along with liberal activists in the Muslim-majority country.

“The followers of minority religious faiths are being attacked along with other ordinary citizens as part of an orchestrated plot to embarrass the government but these incidents could in no way affect the interfaith harmony in Bangladesh,” Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said. He added, “We don’t need to seek assistance of any foreign country or government for the security of our minority communities, the [Bangladesh] government by principle is secular and it is awake 24 hours.”

Mr. Inu heads the left-leaning party, which is a partner of ruling Awami League-led coalition government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

After Modi’s support was sought

The Minister’s comments came in response to a recent media report that said Hindu community in Bangladesh had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for their protection in the wake of the attacks.

“The Hindu community, which is the biggest minority community in Bangladesh, is vulnerable in Bangladesh. Fundamentalist and Jamaat forces are trying to wipe out Hindus from Bangladesh,” general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and noted human rights activist Rana Dasgupta had said in Kolkata.

“We feel that India being a Hindu majority country, should do something. We have high hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He should act and take up the matter with Bangladeshi government and ensure the safety and security of Hindus,” he said.

Wave of recent attacks

A wave of recent attacks that left a number of secular or liberal activists and religious minorities dead prompted Bangladesh to launch a nationwide anti-militancy crackdown on Thursday. Police on Monday claimed that 8,569 people were arrested with 34 of them suspected Islamists.

According to police, most of the militants detained in the countrywide raid belonged to Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) the banned outfit that is believed to have carried out most of the attacks in the past two years.

In June, an elderly Hindu priest, a Hindu monastery worker, a Christian grocer, and wife of a senior police officer, were all murdered.

But government says no IS

The Islamic State terror group and the South Asian branch of al-Qaeda (AQIS) reportedly claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

But the government rejects the claim attributing the murders to home-grown militant outfits like JMB alleging that main opposition BNP and its fundamentalist ally Jamaat-e- Islami were patronising the attacks under an orchestrated plot against the government.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 1:01:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Our-minorities-need-no-foreign-help-Bangladesh-Minister/article14420358.ece

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