To people of Bangladesh, it was an auspicious day to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the independence of the country. The entire nation had wholeheartedly welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with dignitaries from various countries in the world, who visited Bangladesh to join the celebration. They also joined the celebration of the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. When the entire nation was in a celebratory mood – an evil nexus of Islamists, militants, Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee were secretly plotting destructive programmes with the notorious agenda of sabotaging Bangladesh’s celebrations as well as the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nexus between Trinamool and Islamists is nothing new. They have been romancing for years, and under the hidden patronisation of Mamata Banerjee and her cronies, radical Islamic groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen have been gradually gaining strength in Bengal and some parts of the Northeastern States. Lately, Hizbul Mujahideen got connected to Al-Qaeda, with the dangerous agenda of spreading jihadist terror throughout India.
Islamists vandalised and set on fire the music academy of Ustad Alauddin Khan in Brahmanbaria
Commenting on the recent anarchism of Hefazat-e-Islam, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters: “Their tactics and involvement of Basherkella make it clear that the militant outfits that previously tried to create terror and anarchy have been newly incorporated. We are looking into all the issues. No matter where they are, no one will be spared.”
Asked who he meant by militant groups, the Bangladesh Home Minister said, “You have seen before that there are some banned militant outfits, including the Jamaat-e-Islami.”
He further said: “When we put it together, we see that the leaders of these militant groups have been leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami before. Harkat-ul-Jihad, Ansar-Ullah Bangla Team, whatever you say, the main leadership of all of these outfits have come from Jamaat-Shibir.” He also said, "Why homes of innocent people are burning today and why is government property being ruined? We are guessing that the reason behind this may be the same as those for previous attempts of sabotage. It can be Jamaat Shibir or the BNP. We are checking all the issues.”
About Hefajat's strike on March 28, the minister said vandalism after enforcing hartal (strike) is one issue and observing the hartal after it's enforced is another issue. “They have no right to vandalism,” he said.
Jihadis vandalised and set on fire the Radha Gobinda temple
at Dhunat in Bogra, Bangladesh on March 29, 2021
A specific reason to create an untoward situation and foil the country's peaceful movement has worked behind setting fires in houses in Brahmanbaria, attacks on police outposts and putting 10-12 year-old children on the streets, said the minister.
"Even the Brahmanbaria Press Club was set on fire, a journalist was injured and houses of Chhattra League men, Awami League men and the district council chairman were set on fire. If these are not stopped then we will take necessary action," warned the minster.
149 Hindus Killed in 2020
Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote has claimed that at least 149 people of the Hindu community were killed in different incidents and 7,036 were injured in Bangladesh in 2020. According to Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, secretary-general of the organisation, the number was much higher than that of the previous years. He said atrocities on religious minorities in Bangladesh have been on the rise. In 2019, 108 Hindus were killed and 484 injured, he said.
Islamic radical groups attacked and vandalised the Anandmayi
Sri Sri Kali temple in Bangladesh
Pramanik said that 94 Hindus were victims of abduction and 2623 were forced to get converted into other religions in 2020 whereas the numbers were 76 and 18, respectively, in 2019. Atrocities against Hindu women are also on the rise. According to him, at least 53 Hindu women and children were raped. About 370 idols were vandalised in the year. He said that 2125 Hindu families were either evicted or forced to leave the country in 2020 whereas the number was 379 in 2019. At least 163 temples were attacked or vandalised or set on fire in 2020 whereas the number was 153 in 2019, he said.The total number of the atrocities happened to the Hindu community in 2020 is 40,703, he said, adding that the number was 31,505 in 2019.
Asked about taking lawful action against the culprits, he said, "We are observing the situation with patience but now we will foil these efforts and they will be brought to book.”
Trinamool Fund for Anarchism
According to credible sources, Trinamool Congress hierarchy started contacting several individuals in radical Islamic militancy groups in Bengal with the clear instruction of obstructing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh. To implement this agenda, Trinamool reportedly has handed over more than Rs 2 million.
When Narendra Modi was already in Bangladesh, Mamata Banerjee and her cronies were busy in their frantic bids in taking political mileage by claiming – Indian Prime Minister’s Bangladesh visit was a violation of electoral code of India!
Commenting on such claims of Trinamool leaders, political analysts in Dhaka said: “They have totally gone insane. India and Narendra Modi are the friends of Bangladesh. We are delighted and honoured to see Modiji participating in the Golden Jubilee celebration of Bangladesh’s independence and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But to our utter dismay, what Mamata Banerjee and her comrades in Trinamool Congress have done could only be expected from the collaborators of Pakistan.”
Members of Hefazat-e-Islam on a rampage
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attending celebration of the Golden Jubilee of independence of Bangladesh was of huge significance. It once again proved that India is always with Bangladesh, as the most trusted friend. Moreover, we are grateful to Shri Narendra Modi as this was his first foreign tour after 15 months, and it came amid a growing threat of Covid-19 infection. By attending our celebration, the Indian Prime Minister has left a strong message to the nation – India and Narendra Modi are genuine friends of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also spoke her feelings in expressing gratitude to India that sheltered one crore refugees from Bangladesh in 1971. India's military assisted the MuktiBahini in fighting the Pakistani occupation forces by providing arms and training to the freedom fighters.
‘After 3 decades, no Hindus will be left in Bangladesh’
When the Narendra Modi Government gave shape to Citizenship Amendment Act to give citizenship to persecuted minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, there was huge hue and cry. Hindus in these countries have been facing existential crisis. Left-Liberals in India were the staunchest critics of the new citizenship law.
According to an eminent Bangladeshi economist, no Hindus will be left in Bangladesh 30 years from now if the current rate of “exodus” continues as on an average 632 people from the minority community leave Bangladesh each day. “The rate of exodus over the past 49 years points to that direction,” Dhaka Tribune quoted Dr Abul Barkat, a Dhaka university professor. There will be no Hindus left in the country three decades from now, Barkat said in his book Political economy of reforming agriculture-land-water bodies in Bangladesh which was published on November 19, the Dhaka Tribune said.
From 1964 to 2013, around 11.3 million Hindus left Bangladesh due to religious persecution and discrimination which means on an average 632 Hindus left the country each day and 230,612 annually.
Before the Liberation War, the daily rate of migration was 705 while it was 512 during
1971—1981 and 438 during 1981—1991. The number increased to 767 persons each day during
1991—2001 while around 774 persons left the country during 2001—2012, the book says.
DU Professor Ajoy Roy said the Government grabbed the properties of the Hindus during the Pakistan regime describing them as enemy property and the same properties were taken by the Government after independence as vested property, the report said. According to the book, these two measures made 60 per cent of the Hindus landless.
Now, time has come, when we need to feel the necessity of a much-deeper relationship between the people of Bangladesh and India. These relations and interactions should not be limited within government level. On this august occasion of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, we can humbly request Indian policymakers, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the great friend of Bangladesh, to consider easing visa formalities for Bangladeshi people–and to exempt visa for the members of Bangladeshi media. This is truly essential for further strengthening and deepening relations between the people of two friendly nations.
(The writer is a multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Blitz)