BJP youth wing protests Bangladesh attacks on minorities

Agartala, Jan 10 : Members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Friday organised a demonstration in the Tripura capital to protest the attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh.

"Our stir will continue until the attacks on minorities stop in Bangladesh. There are reports of fresh attacks on minorities in that country," BJYM's Tripura unit president Kamal Dey told reporters.

The three-hour long demonstration Friday was held on the outskirts of the state capital, at Joynagar near the India-Bangladesh check post in Akhaurah. Besides BJYM leaders and members, top leaders of the state BJP, including state party president Sudhindra Dasgupta, participated.

BJYM leaders and members Wednesday organised a demonstration in front of the Bangladesh diplomatic mission in Agartala. They submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh diplomatic mission head and first secretary Mohammad Obaidur Rahman, addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and demanding that the attacks on minorities be stopped.

Police arrested 24 BJYM members, including the party's state leaders Pulak Kumar Debnath and Tapas Majumder, and later released them on bail.

A police picket has been set up at the Bangladesh mission office.

According to media reports in Bangladesh, over 200 houses and shops belonging to the minority Hindu community have been vandalised and looted by the Jamaat-e-Islami activists in various parts of Bangladesh's Jessore and Dinajpur districts. The attacks took place before and during the Jan 5 parliamentary polls in that country.

Bangladesh's online news agency said that local leaders of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and ruling Awami League in an upazila (sub-district) of Gaibandha district have joined hands to protect Hindus of the area, following attacks on them in various parts of the country after the Jan 5 elections.

"The Hindu communities in the trouble-torn areas are now living in fear. Local Hindus there have formed defence units and are patrolling the areas at night, fearing attacks," the news agency said.

India has stepped up vigil along its border with Bangladesh in view of the ongoing political turmoil and attacks on religious minorities in the neighbouring country.

Five Indian states - West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram - share a 4,096-km border with Bangladesh. A large portion of the International Border remains unfenced and porous.

--IANS (Posted on 10-01-2014)

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