Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed her administration to take strict action against those who are creating chaos by inciting communal tensions, according to Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
"Those who are angry about the peaceful worship taking place in every puja venue across the country want to pull the country backwards. One of their tactics is to stoke animosity between Hindus and Muslims," he said while inspecting Ramakrishna Mission's puja venue in the capital's Gopibagh on Thursday.
On Wednesday, communal tensions flared in Cumilla over an alleged case of dishonouring the Quran amid Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival. Crowds clashed with police and vandalised idols in the area.
Puja venues were also vandalised in Chandpur, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj and Moulvibazar and clashes resulted in casualties.
Quader urged the public to stay vigilant against any kind of communal incitement. "Sheikh Hasina's government will not allow this evil force to rise. The prime minister has already directed the authorities to take action against all kinds of activities that provoke communal unrest."
"In the run-up to the national elections, extremist groups are working to destroy communal harmony in several places," said Quader, the general secretary of the Awami League, adding ruling party leaders and activists of the party will be on alert.
He called on everyone to stand firm and united against extremist forces.