Bangladesh doing its best: Sushma

SushmaSwaraj_AFP_NEW1The Bangladesh government is doing its best against terrorism, said Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday, responding to a media query about attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh.

“The Bangladesh government is not sitting idle over the attacks on minorities. They are taking proper steps in this regard,” said Sushma at a press conference in New Delhi.

However, the Indian minister said that the incidents were “very painful and unfortunate for us” but the Bangladesh government was acting on them.

The press conference was held marking the second anniversary of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi-led government.

Sushma said India has the best ties with Bangladesh among all the neighbours. The relations between the two countries were improving by the day over several issues like the land boundary agreement, power export to Bangladesh and more.

However, the death threat to Ramkrishna Mission officials and the recent attacks on Hindus were “very painful and unfortunate”, she added.

“We have been raising such issues at the highest level and the Bangladesh government is doing its best in this regard,” the Indian minister also said.

Sushma said that the Bangladesh government had already arrested over three thousands militant suspects and it was encouraging that over a hundred thousand Islamic clerics (muftis, alems, ulema) have signed a fatwa against terrorism in the name of Islam.

This proves that the Islamic clerics, along with the government, are against terrorism.

The Indian minister was also asked a question regarding the issue of providing Indian citizenship to Hindu minorities who are fleeing the country in the face of secret killings.

Sushma said India is considering citizenship only for those Bangladeshi Hindus who faced violent offences in Bangladesh.

About Teesta, Sushama said now that Mamata Banerjee has been re-elected in West-Bengal, hopefully this issue will soon be negotiated as she invited Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina to her oath-taking ceremony. But what is crucial is that the Indian government, West-Bengal government and the Bangladeshi government must come to an agreement in this regard.

India happy over security measures: Shringla

Indian high commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Sunday expressed satisfaction over the tightened security measures taken at Ramakrishna Mission and thanked the government for extending adequate security.

“We’re fully confident and satisfied with what the authorities are doing in supporting the Ramakrishna Mission and safety and security of those who work there,” he told reporters after visiting the Ramakrishna Mission in the city in the afternoon.

Shringla said they have full confidence in the local authorities, which are capable of providing required security both to the RK Mission and other places.

The high commissioner said it is a long-standing philanthropic organisation and most people working in the RK Mission are Bangladeshis.

“I think the work they’re doing is exemplary, representative of best practices of humanity and humanitarian work,” Shringla said.

The high commissioner visited the RK Mission and talked to officials there.

India is in touch with Bangladesh after a staff member at the mission received a death threat from suspected militants prompting the Bangladesh government to beef up security.

Mridul Maharaj, a priest of Ramakrishna Mission, lodged a general diary in this connection with Wari police station on Wednesday night.

The threatening letter read, “Bangladesh is an Islamic state. No one will be allowed to preach Hindu religion. You just go to India otherwise, you’ll be killed.”

The letter was posted from Gazipur in the name of Islamic State Bangladesh with the sender’s name given as AB Siddique, according to Zihadul Islam, officer-in-charge of Wari police station.

Earlier, an Indian diplomat said the Bangladesh government, especially Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be able to ‘bring back stability’ in the country curbing such covert killings with an iron hand.

The Indian diplomat, while speaking at a meeting with the Hindu community in Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali district, said the panic among minorities will soon be abated.

Source: Prothom Alo