Protests in Bangaldesh ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit

Many student unions, Islamist organizations, leftist groups, and academicians and intellectuals are also protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and Modi’s arrival in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh
Photo courtesy- Associated press

Modi is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on the 17th of March to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the nation’s founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He has been invited by the Bangladeshi Government to deliver a keynote address for the occasion. Thousands of Bangladeshis have come out I protest against his visit and have said “If the government does not withdraw Modi’s invitation, the airport will be cordoned off.”  The protesters have demanded that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina withdraw her invitation to Modi. 

Large number of people have gathered on the street to protest against Modi over the communal rights that took place in Delhi which left 53 dead, hundreds injured, and affected livelihoods of many. Further, Party member and Home Minister, Amit Shah has said “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are termites” who have to be gotten rid of. 12 people have been injured during the protests in Bangladesh. According to reports, a countrywide protest has been called for on the 12th of March and they have been asked to wear black shrouds, carry black flags, and wear black shoes. 

Many student unions, Islamist organizations, leftist groups, and academicians and intellectuals are also protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and Modi’s arrival in Bangladesh. “If a man like Modi attends the program, it will be a disgrace to the common people of Bangladesh and also Mujib who upheld secularism and religious harmony in Bangladesh. Indian Muslims are targets of Modi and the terrorists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). They want to destroy religious harmony in India. All this will adversely affect religious harmony in the whole of South Asia,” Nurul Huq Nur, the Dhaka University Central Student’s Union Vice-President, said.

Hefajat-e-Islam’s Vice-President Nur Hossain Kasemi, called for the cancelation of the invitation to Modi and added that Muslims in Bangladesh should protect non-Muslims and maintain communal harmony.

Many officials have weighed in on the issue. Bangladesh’s Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Obaidul Quader, said “India has helped us the most during the Liberation War of Bangladesh and that is why the Indian Prime Minister has been invited. Refraining from inviting the Indian Prime Minister would have been an act of ingratitude Bangladesh Home Minister has promised that Modi with being welcomed with state of honor and the law enforcement and security forces will ensure his security. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla who was in Bangladesh assured the country that the NRC will have “no implications” and that the process is entirely “internal” to the country.  

 

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