By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2021-10-18 10:06:38
Although MEA S Jaishankar has said that the government in Bangladesh has taken steps to control the communal violence that has gripped the country this month, there were renewed attacks on Hindu places of worship and Hindu-owned shops at Feni, about 157 km from Dhaka. The problem with the violence is that no radical group has claimed responsibility and it is largely unidentified groups that are going around targeting the minority community. But still, the local administration in the hotspots has to do much more to bring the situation under control. Since the situation is also ripe for the radical groups to fan it further, a watch also needs to be kept on them.
It needs to be found out what instigated the groups to resort to violence. The sizeable minority of the Hindus celebrate Durga Puja in Bangladesh every year without any trouble. What happened this year that the Muslims attacked them? Since the violence is happening at many places and although it is clear that it is not coordinated, it is taking the shape of a dangerous uprising against the Hindus. The administration has to talk to the Muslim influencers and try and curb this.
The fallout in India, especially West Bengal, can be disastrous if proper steps are not taken. Radical Hindu groups can take advantage of the situation to start attacking Muslims. The West Bengal government has rightly started monitoring social media to prevent these groups from spreading videos (often fake) to incite the people. The Bangladeshi government must move fast to bring the situation under control and arrest and punish the instigators. The Hindu minority in Bangladesh must be protected and made to feel safe.