Bid to tarnish Bangladesh image: PM Sheikh Hasina on temple attacks

Bid to tarnish Bangladesh image: PM Sheikh Hasina on temple attacks

Students of the University of Dhaka hold a torch procession demanding justice for the violence against Hindu communities in Dhaka. File

Dhaka, October 24

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday that certain quarters with vested interests were disseminating propaganda to create communal divide and tarnish the image of Bangladesh, as the country recovers from a slew of violence against Hindus and mob attacks on temples during Durga Puja festivities, according to a media report.

Some incidents are orchestrated

No one can make Bangladesh go backwards. Some of the incidents that we occasionally see are orchestrated. It is being done intentionally so that Bangladesh’s image is damaged. —Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Prime Minister

Attacks on Hindu temples intensified in Bangladesh since October 13 after an alleged blasphemous post surfaced on social media during the Durga Puja celebrations. On October 17 night, a mob damaged 66 houses and set on fire at least 20 homes of Hindus in Bangladesh.

“No one can make Bangladesh go backwards. Some of the incidents that we occasionally see are orchestrated. It is being done intentionally so that Bangladesh’s image is damaged,” Prime Minister Hasina was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Payra bridge in southern Bangladesh, Hasina said, “Certain quarters with vested interests are disseminating propaganda aimed at creating a communal divide.” She, however, did not name any one.

“No matter how much good work we do, there is a quarter that is occupied with discrediting Bangladesh. What do they want? They don’t want the normal democratic process to continue in this country,” she said, urging people to be wary of the attempts to destabilise the country.

Eight persons died as communal violence spread to several other districts amid the festivities, the report said. The Durga Puja celebrations, considered to be the biggest festival of the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh, concluded without the traditional Bijoya Dashami procession.

The violence has been widely condemned by the United Nations.

UN’s resident coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said the attacks on Hindus were against the values of the country’s Constitution and need to stop. — PTI

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