Culprits to be hunted down
Hasina urged the Hindu community people not to consider themselves as minority and perform their religious rituals with the same rights enjoyed by followers of other religions.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said those behind the Cumilla incident will be hunted down to hand out appropriate punishments to them to stop the recurrence of such communal acts.
"A thorough investigation is underway. We are getting huge information. We will definitely trace those who carry out such incidents and we will do so," she said yesterday referring to Wednesday's Cumilla incident.
The PM made the remarks while exchanging greetings with Hindu devotees at the Dhakeshwari National Temple virtually from the Gono Bhaban on the occasion of Durga Puja.
Hasina said necessary action will surely be taken against the culprits, no matter what religion they belong to.
"They must be found out. We did so in the past and will do it in future as well. They must face appropriate punishments. We want such punishments so that none dare do so [engaging in communal incidents] in future."
Terming vandalising of temples in Cumilla "very unfortunate", Hasina said, "This is an era of technology and those involved in the incident will definitely be found out using technology."
She said people irrespective of caste, creed and religion in Bangladesh celebrate all festivals together. "Religion is for individuals and festival is for all and we enjoy every festival together."
But there are a few cliques who are out to destroy the spirit by carrying out some communal incidents, she added.
"Some people are religiously blind and they always want to create communal conflicts. Such people belong not only to the Muslim community, but also to all other religions. In that case, if we all work together, they can't do any harm."
Hasina said the Cumilla incident occurred at a time when the country was progressing towards development at full speed and it was aimed at hampering the journey of the nation's uplift and creating a problem in the country.
She said those who can't earn people's confidence and trust and have no ideology can carry out such incidents.
As a Hindu community leader sought the government's intervention regarding the information that some people were planning to attack them during immersion of the idols of Goddess Durga tomorrow, the PM said they are aware of it and measures have already been taken to this end.
She called upon the Hindu community leaders, particularly those of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Committee, to formulate a policy to determine how many Puja mandaps will be set up across the country to celebrate Durga Puja keeping in mind the constraint of security personnel to ensure safety and security of the mandaps.
Hasina urged the Hindus community people not to consider themselves as minority people and perform their religious rituals with the same rights enjoyed by followers of other religions as they are born and brought up in the country and fought shoulder to shoulder to liberate it during the Liberation War.
In this connection, the premier recalled the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, saying that he had turned Bangladesh into a secular country by incorporating the matter in the constitution.
"Bangabandhu wanted people of all faiths to practice their respective religions freely."
REQUEST TO INDIA
The PM said not only Bangladesh but also neighbouring India needs to be aware and careful about communal harmony. She said Bangladesh always remembered with gratitude the help India provided during the 1971 Liberation War.
"So, my request is that they should be a little more aware so that nothing is done there that affects our country," she said.
Describing Bangladesh as a country of religious harmony, Hasina said people will perform their religious rituals with dignity and sincerity.
She renewed her determination to build Bangladesh as a peaceful country where there will be no room for militancy and terrorism.
Highlighting various measures taken by her government for theuplift of the Hindu community, the PM said her government was committed to ensuring welfare of all irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Hasina said the dignity of Bangladesh has been established in the global stage as it has turned into a developing nation. "We want the country to be a developed and prosperous one by 2041 with upholding the dignity."
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad President Milon Kanti Datta and the principal of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka, Swami Purnatmananda Maharaj, spoke at the function, chaired by Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee President Shailendra Nath Majumder.