Agartala: Political parties and civil society organisations in Tripura have condemned the recent vandalisation of Durga Puja temples and marquees and attack on Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh, with which the state shares an 856-km-long border, as Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb expressed hope that appropriate action would be taken against the miscreants by the Sheikh Hasina government.
Officials said that Deb had on Saturday telephoned Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami to know what exactly happened in the neighbouring country and the measures that were being taken to protect the members of the Hindu community.
According to the officials, Doraiswami, during the conversation, gave assurance that he visited the Durga puja pandals where the alleged attacks were carried out, and that the Bangladesh government was taking necessary steps to solve the issue amicably.
“Such incidents, wherever in the world it might be, is matter of great sorrow. I have full confidence on the Bangladesh government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. I am sure she will take appropriate action against such acts of fundamentalism,” the CM later told reporters.
The TMC, while denouncing the attacks in Bangladesh, expressed surprise at the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have not noticed any statement coming from our prime minister. The Bangladesh government was also not prompt in initiating action against the culprits. We want PM Modi to take up the matter with Hasina,” the convener of TMC’s Tripura unit, Subal Bhowmick, said.
Meanwhile, a delegation representing the state’s civil society organisations, led by former vice-chancellor of Tripura university Arunoday Saha, on Saturday met Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner in Agartala, Mohammad Jobaid Hossain, and demanded full protection of religious rights of all minorities.
The delegation sought immediate punishment for the culprits.
A senior member of a popular puja committee in Sipahijala, Abdul Momin, said Hindus and Muslims have been jointly celebrating the annual festival every year in the subdivision without any animosity, and people in the neighbouring country should take a cue.
“We organize Durga puja bringing together people from Hindu and Muslim communities as it strengthens the bond between the two communities. We hope our neighbours in Bangladesh would also respect each other and maintain communal harmony. Religions might be different, but festivals belong to all communities,” he added.
As reports of attacks on Durga Puja pandals and temples emerged from across Bangladesh, Hasina, earlier this week, said action will be taken again those trying to “disturb communal harmony”.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has noted that the government in the neighbouring country 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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