Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary programme postponed; PM Modi may not visit Bangladesh

The decision was taken after three cases of COVID-19 surfaced in Bangladesh, says senior bureaucrat

March 09, 2020 02:10 pm | Updated 07:09 pm IST - Kolkata:

A policeman wearing a facemask amid fears of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walks past a banner with a picture of Bangladeshs founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in Dhaka on March 9, 2020.

A policeman wearing a facemask amid fears of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walks past a banner with a picture of Bangladeshs founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in Dhaka on March 9, 2020.

Bangladesh has postponed the main inaugural programme marking Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary to be held on March 17.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to attend the event.

Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, the chief coordinator of the committee to implement year-long birth centenary programmes, said that the decision was taken after three cases of COVID-19 surfaced in Bangladesh.

“A large gathering was expected at the National Parade Ground on March 17. But considering the situation, we have decided to postpone it,” Mr. Chowdhury, a senior bureaucrat, told The Hindu . He, however, indicated that the event was “postponed and not cancelled”.

“We have a meeting in which we will decide how — and to what scale — we will mark March 17 [the 100th birth anniversary of Mujibur Rahman] and about the future event,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

While both sides have not officially announced the cancellation of his scheduled trip on March 17, the postponement entails that Mr. Modi’s Bangladesh visit “stands cancelled for now”, said a source.

“The Foreign Ministry [of Bangladesh] will be able to clarify about the visit,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

Protests against visit

Last week, large-scale protests were witnessed in Dhaka against Mr. Modi’s visit.

Dhaka University students’ union vice-president Nurul Haq told international press that they would demonstrate against Mr. Modi’s visit, “whenever he is in town.”

“We will try to stop the visit, at any cost. We may march from university to airport or demonstrate around Indian High Commission,” he said last week.

Considering the situation, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited the country to discuss about the Prime Minister’s visit last week.

Mr. Chowdhury said other programmes, scheduled throughout the year, would continue as per plan.

The Bangladesh government will update the Indian government about “the new programme plans and schedules connected to Mr. Modi’s future visit,” said a source.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.