Bangladesh Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud has declared that elements connected to Pakistan – the descendants of 22 percent of people who didn’t vote for the Awami League – are responsible for inciting communal clashes in Bangladesh.
During a media interaction at the Kolkata Press Club on Thursday, Mahmud said, ‘In 1970, the Awami League received 298 seats in the provincial assembly and 164 seats in the national assembly. Then, there were 22 percent of people who didn’t vote for us and their descendants are still there in Bangladesh and these are the people who are trying to divide Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh. They are the people who are creating hurdles before the development of Bangladesh. They are dividing society and we will not tolerate this’.
When asked about ‘minorities attacks’ in Bangladesh, he replied, ‘In Bangladesh, no one is a minority. All are Bangladeshi and all are Bengalis. All are equal here. We don’t consider anyone in Bangladesh as a minority. I belong to the Bangladesh Awami League and I am the joint secretary of my party and I would like to assure stern action against the attackers’. Mahmud said some people had opposed the move during the country’s independence struggle.
‘They opposed our struggle for independence. Now their descendants profit from communism. This unrest in Bangladesh is being caused by the BNP and Jamat, as well as some fundamentalist parties. In response to the attack on the Durga Puja pandal, we have been firm in our stance that no Hindu can disrespect the Quran and no Muslim can disrespect the ‘Gita’. This controversy was caused by a Muslim, which we were right about. Iqbal is his name, and it appears that he acted on someone else’s instructions, and we will soon find the actual conspirator of the murder,’ he said.
‘It was a political ploy by the parties and fundamentalists to destabilize Bangladesh and create anarchy. The government has taken tough action against all miscreants. A total of 129 cases and 1204 arrests have been made so far. All the houses that were demolished specifically in Rangpur have been rebuilt, and our Prime Minister has already assured all the victims that they will be adequately compensated,’ Mahmud said. In response to the action taken against the fundamentalists, he said, ‘It’s true that we didn’t manage to uproot them completely, but we managed to clip their wings’.