Bangladesh: Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hassan Mahmood said on Saturday that the Sheikh Hasina government was committed to the protection and interests of Hindu minorities. He said that “the organization of peaceful celebrations on Durga Puja this year in the country is proof of this”. Hassan Mahmood, who is in Kolkata to attend the inaugural program of the ‘Bangladesh Film Festival’, said that India-Bangladesh relations do not depend only on the Teesta water sharing agreement between the two countries.
“The Sheikh Hasina government is committed to protecting the rights of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh,” Mahmood told reporters at the Press Club in Kolkata. The recent organization of peaceful celebrations on Durga Puja is proof of this. This year 33 thousand puja pandals were organized which is 700 more than the year 2021.
mention of communal violence
Referring to the communal violence that took place in Bangladesh during Durga Puja in 2021, Hasan Mahmood said that this year the government was extra cautious to avoid untoward incidents.
declined to comment
Mahmood refused to comment on a newspaper report that said the Bangladesh prime minister wanted to meet Mamata Banerjee during her visit to New Delhi last month. To this, he said that “if Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had wanted to meet Chief Minister Banerjee, the meeting would have definitely taken place”.
Banerjee had criticized the central government for not being invited during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India. In response to this, the Center had said that Chief Ministers are not invited during the visit of foreign heads of state.
general election in bangladesh
Regarding the general elections to be held in Bangladesh next year, Mahmood said that “the government and the ruling party Awami League hope that other opposition parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will participate in this election. He said that “to strengthen democracy”. The work is not only of the ruling party, but also of the opposition parties”.
Teesta river water sharing
Significantly, the Teesta river water sharing agreement has been in limbo for more than a decade due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. India and Bangladesh had agreed to an agreement on Teesta water sharing during the visit of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka in 2011, but Banerjee refused to accept it, citing water scarcity in the state.
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