Bangladesh Information Minister Muhammad Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government in his country is determined to protect the rights of not just the Hindus but all religious minorities.
He made the remarks while addressing a press conference here.
He was in Kolkata to attend the inauguration of Bangladesh Film Festival in the city.
Referring to the incidents of communal violence in Bangladesh during Durga Puja in 2021, he said the government was especially cautious to avoid repetitions of such incidents during the festival this year.
“But nothing of that sport happened this year and Durga Puja was celebrated peacefully there following the joint initiative by the administration and Puja organisers. This proves how the current Bangladesh government is determined to protect the rights of the religious minorities there,” Mahmud said.
He also said that this year in Bangladesh, there were over 33,000 community Pujas, which is around 700 more than what it was in the previous year.
“This proves that Bangladesh is safe for the religious minorities. Our government there was especially cautious this time keeping in mind the tension during the festival days last year,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, he blamed Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies of fuelling tension by supporting the fanatic groups.
“They mainly thrive on the anti-India and anti- Hindu sentiments. However, they have been exposed and our government in Bangladesh is determined to take tough actions against those who create tension there on such issues,” he said.
Speaking on the Teesta river water accord between India and Bangladesh, which is yet to be finalised because of some objections on this count raised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mahmud said “though India-Bangladesh relation is not just dependent on this agreement, surely it is an important factor”.
“As per the agreement, the people of both India and Bangladesh should be allowed to use the Teesta water,” he added.
At the same time, he emphasised that focus should be given on people-to-people relations between the two countries to strengthen the diplomatic relationship.