Intellectuals urge B’desh govt to act against instigators of Durga Puja violence

A delegation of intellectuals in Tripura on Saturday met Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner in Agartala, Mohammad Jobayed Hosen, and urged him to request his government to ensure action against those who vandalised Durga Puja pandals in the neighbouring country.

The five-member delegation led by Agartala Press Club President Subal Kumar Dey urged the Bangladesh government to take adequate steps to protect the lives, properties and culture of the people belonging to the religious minorities.

“The growing incidents of violence against the religious minorities in Bangladesh are against the philosophy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Religion is an individual choice but festivities are for all and the combination of all people with diverse religions can make the festivities more purposeful and cheerful,” said the letter submitted to the Bangladeshi envoy.

The other members of the delegation included Arunoday Saha, former Vice-Chancellor of Tripura University, Arun Nath, Pranab Sarkar and Sanjay Paul.

On Thursday, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb spoke to the Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh, Vikram K. Doraiswami, and discussed the Durga Puja related violence in the neighbouring country.

“Doraiswami informed Deb that the situation is under control now. He and other Indian officials in various diplomatic missions in Bangladesh have visited different places to know the details of the incidents at the ground level,” a source told IANS, referring to the telephonic conversation between Doraiswami and Deb.

As per media reports, the mob violence erupted in Comilla earlier this week after unconfirmed posts went viral on social media about the alleged desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue, following which Hindu temples were vandalised.

A total of 16 persons have been detained in Chandpur and Chittagong in connection with the cases filed over the attacks on Durga Puja pandals and clashes between the police and the mob in Chandpur’s Hajiganj upazila on Wednesday night that left four persons dead.

Incidents of violence, according to media reports, were also reported from Hajiganj, Chandpur, Noakhali, Cox’s Bazaar, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Moulvibazara and Kurigram.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised strong action against those involved in provoking communal disturbances by spreading fake photos of the Quran being placed at the feet of a Hindu deity at a Comilla temple during Durga Puja.