Hasina calls on AL leaders, activists to stay vigilant against religious hate crimes

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on Awami League leaders and activists to organise peace rallies and conferences across the country aimed at fostering communal harmony, while remaining alert to the threat of disruptive elements.

The ruling party chief made the call while virtually inaugurating the Cumilla Metropolitan Awami League office on Thursday in the wake of the religiously motivated attacks on Hindus during Durga Puja.

On Oct 13, a rumour about the Quran being dishonoured at a Hindu place of worship in Cumilla ignited a series of communal attacks across the country, resulting in the deaths of six people.

In continuation of that communal conflict, Hindu villages in Rangpur’s Pirganj came under attack on Sunday night over an alleged Facebook post hurting Muslims’ religious sentiments. At least 29 homes were torched in the attack.

“Awami League workers must remember that the party was established to serve the people. The Father of the Nation said the same thing in a speech upon his return to the country after victory in the Liberation War."

“He has given his life for the people of Bengal. The party leaders and workers who espouse his ideology should keep that in mind. Communal harmony must be maintained."

The prime minister stressed the need to take measures to ensure peaceful co-existence among people of all faiths, be they Muslims, Hindus, Christians or Buddhists.

Hasina has already directed the home minister to take stern action against those involved in communal violence. Police have already arrested more than 400 people over the attacks.

“Immediately after the incident in Cumilla, violence erupted in different places, including Pirganj. At the same time, the people whose houses have been burnt down are being provided with tents and food. Everything, including clothes and treatment, has been arranged," she said.

The government has also taken the initiative to build homes for those who had theirs destroyed by the violent mobs, she added.