Guwahati/Kolkata: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday staged protests in West Bengal and Assam over the recent spate of attacks on minority Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh and sought immediate action against the culprits.
The protesters also demanded security for the minority community in the Muslim-majority country.
In Kolkata, VHP members submitted a memorandum to Bangladesh Deputy High Commission, expressing “deepest concern” over the violence and vandalisation of temples during the Durga puja.
It urged the Bangladesh government to take measures to safeguard Hindu culture and heritage.
In Assam, the VHP’s youth wing, Bajrang Dal, held an agitation outside the office of the Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner in Guwahati.
Holding placards that demanded justice for the victims, the Bajrang Dal members raised slogans against the atrocities perpetrated on the minority community in the neighbouring country.
A rally was also taken out in protest at Lumding, Hojai district, by Sanatan Dharma Aikya Manch, a platform for Hindu organisations, seeking safety for the Hindus in Bangladesh.
Opposition MPs of the northeastern state said that the Centre should put pressure on its counterpart in the neighbouring country to ensure the preservation of the rights of the Hindus.
AIUDF chief and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal stated, “It is the responsibility of a government to protect its minorities. But we have seen that atrocities on Hindus have been on the rise in Bangladesh over the years.”
The Dhubri MP alleged that the Bangladesh government has failed to perform its responsibility and urged the Centre to use its diplomatic channels to ensure that Hindus get to reside in peace.
Congress MP Abdul Khaleque, speaking to reporters here, said that the Narendra Modi government should “stop its assistance” to Bangladesh if it the country fails in its duty to safeguard the minorities.
Violence had erupted in pockets of Bangladesh over an alleged blasphemy at a Durga Puja pavilion in Cumilla, around 100 km from Dhaka, following which paramilitary forces were deployed in the affected areas.
Sporadic clashes, however, broke out between the police and the bigots as media reported about the rampant vandalisation of Hindu temples and Durga puja venues.
At least five persons were killed, and scores of others were injured in the clashes.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had last week said that action would be taken against those trying to “disturb communal harmony”.
She also said that the perpetrators would be hunted down and punished.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has noted that the government in the neighbouring country has reacted promptly to ensure that the situation was under control and said that the Indian mission is in close contact with the Bangladeshi authorities over the matter.
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