October 20, 2021 8:48:50 am
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organised demonstrations in Kolkata and Assam on Tuesday in protest against the recent violence faced by Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, and announced nationwide protests on Wednesday. They called for the punishment of those who attacked Hindus, and vandalised Durga Puja pandals and Hindu temples.
In Kolkata, apart from holding protests, a VHP delegation submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission on the matter. This came a day after a West Bengal BJP delegation led by Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari visited the Bangladesh diplomatic mission to register the party’s protest, and the BJP organised statewide protests.
In its memorandum to the deputy high commissioner, the organisation urged the government in the neighbouring country to protect the Hindu community, its culture, and heritage.
The West Bengal unit of the VHP also wrote a letter to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, urging him to take up the matter with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government and provide all manner of support to Hindus in Bangladesh. On Monday, the BJP had questioned the TMC’s alleged silence on the matter.
In Guwahati, the Bajrang Dal, which is the VHP’s youth wing, organised a protest outside the office of the Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner. Holding placards demanding justice for the victims, Bajrang Dal members raised slogans against the attacks.
The Sanatan Dharma Aikya Manch, a platform of Hindu organisations, organised a rally in Lumding city in Hojai district. It demanded the safety of Hindus in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, the VHP announced that nationwide protests would be held on Wednesday. The demonstration in the national capital will be organised in front of the Bangladesh High Commission.
“The incidents of violence against Hindu minorities in Bangladesh have broken all records. While thousands of Hindus have been injured, 10 Hindus have been reported dead till now. Hindu society will not tolerate these inhuman atrocities. A massive protest and demonstration will be held on October 20 in front of the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi at 11 am. Along with this, protests and demonstrations will be held in every district across the country,” VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain told reporters at a press conference in Delhi.
Appealing to the United Nations to play “a proactive role” and send a peacekeeping force to Bangladesh “to prevent atrocities on Hindu minorities”, Jain added, “Extremists will have to be dealt with in the same manner as was done in 1971. If needed, the government of Bangladesh should take the help of the government of India. The VHP appeals to the government of India to exert adequate pressure on the government of Bangladesh so that the latter fulfils its obligation to ensure the safety and security of its indigenous minority Hindu population.”
Tensions escalated in Bangladesh last Wednesday after footage of an alleged incident of blasphemy at a Durga Puja pavilion in Comilla, around 100 km from Dhaka, began circulating on social media. Subsequently, incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples and Durga Puja pandals were reported from places such as Hajiganj in Chandpur, Banshkhali in Chattogram, and Pekua in Cox’s Bazar. On October 14, an ISKCON temple in Noakhali was attacked. At least five people have reportedly lost their lives in the communal attacks while several have been
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday instructed her home minister to initiate immediate action against those who incited violence using religion as the pretext, and asked people not to trust anything on social media without fact-checking.
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