LGRD Minister Tazul Islam has called on local public representatives to be alert and stand strong against those who would seek to destroy communal harmony.
“I am making a call to all public representatives at the city corporation, municipal, upazila parishad, district parishad and union parishad level, and all other institutions – be ready,” he said at an event in Dhaka on Saturday, reports bdnews24.com.
“We must stand against communal forces. Bangladesh will not bow to them.”
On the eighth day of Durga Puja, claims that the Quran was being disrespected at a temple in Cumilla led to attacks on Hindu places of worship and clashes between vandals and police.
In the two days since, several similar incidents have occurred in Chandpur, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Moulvibazar, Gazipur, Chapainawabganj and other districts.
The BGB personnel have been deployed to two dozen districts and security has been beefed up at puja venues.
“Three million people gave their lives to earn our freedom,” Tazul said at an event at Sonargaon Hotel to mark the centenary of Bangabandhu’s birth and Bangladesh’s golden jubilee.
“They dishonoured 200,000 of our mothers and sisters. They collaborated with Yahya Khan and Tikka Khan. In the name of ‘protecting’ Islam, they killed and raped and set fire to people’s homes. They planned and carried out Bangabandhu’s murder. For 21 years after coming to power, they maintained the Pakistani system and never did anything for the welfare of the people.”
“Today, under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, the country has developed,” the minister continued. “They could not stop this progress and have been rejected by the people as bygone relics. They aren’t in any position to take to the streets with their goons. The people will unite against them if they do. And so, they are trying an alternate tactic - the same one they used during the Pakistan era and the Liberation War.”
“Now they are placing the Quran in temples. How would a copy of the Quran end up there? Who would place one there? After doing so, they take videos and report the incident to the police. They stage an elaborate drama to incite the people and carry out attacks against Hindus. They placed the Quran there because they know that Muslims, the innocent and the naive will be outraged at the temples. Then there will be skirmishes between Hindus and Muslims. There will be unrest. They will say the Awami League government is lacking. The spectres of that Pakistan era are dreaming of returning to power and are working to bring it about.”
“To all conscientious citizens I say – we must resist those who aim to destroy our nation. We need to be on alert against those who seek to destroy collective harmony and must unite against them.”