Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today urged all concerned to remain alert to maintain peace and harmony during the ongoing Durga Puja.
“A vested quarter wants to shift the responsibility to the government after carrying out attacks on the Hindu community,” he said while visiting Ramakrishna Mission puja mandap in the capital on the Mahasaptami day of Durga Puja.
Urging all to remain alert, Quader said an evil force wants to mean that the minorities are not safe under the Awami League regime.
“The puja committee told me that none gets punished for communal attacks…many criminals were brought to justice in Bangladesh under the Sheikh Hasina government. Even, members of her own party (AL) have been sent to jail. Perpetrators will not be spared if they carry out attacks on Hindu temples, houses and puja mandaps,” he said.
The AL general secretary said the national election is approaching and ahead of the polls, the vested quarter, by conducting attacks on the Hindus community, wants to inform the Indian government that those were carried out by the Awami League.
“So, remain alter against the evil force,” he added.
Asking BNP not to do politics over the Durga Puja festival, Quader said: “We want a peaceful election, let religious activities be done peacefully…along with the ruling party, the opposition party also has a role to play in keeping Durga Puja festival peaceful till Bijoya Dashami (Immersion of Goddess idol). You have a responsible role to play too,” Quader said.
Urging the Hindus community members not to get panicked on the occasion of Durga Puja, he said the AL leaders and workers remain alert to this end.
The road transport minister said Sheikh Hasina’s government has been in power for 13 years while Durga Puja was held in the 13 years.
There were 30,000 puja mandaps in the country last year but the number increased to over 32,000 this year, he said.
“I would like to remind you that Durga Puja was targeted for violence only once in these 13 years. The Hindu community members, their temples and houses were targeted. Even their houses and shops were attacked. I would like to say that Durga Puja was held peacefully for 11 years. But, last year some untoward incidents happened,” Quader said.
AL office secretary Biplab Barua, Dhaka South City AL president Abu Ahmed Mannafi, its general secretary Humayun Kabir and vice president Dr Dilip Roy were, among others, present.