Mission convoy attacked in Assam, Bangladesh seeks extra security for diplomats

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Bangladesh on Thursday demanded heightened security for its mission in Guwahati, capital of India’s Assam state, following two attacks as Indian high commissioner Riva Ganguly Das met acting foreign secretary Kamrul Hasan at his office in the evening.

A foreign ministry statement, issued after the meeting, said acting secretary Ahsan “protested about the attack on the convoy of the (Bangladesh) assistant high commissioner and vandalisation of the signposts (of the Bangladesh Chancery in Guwahati).”

“He (Ahsan) requested for protection of personnel and property of the mission by the host government,” the statement read.

It said in response the Indian envoy assured that Indian authorities “are being immediately alerted to enhance security of Bangladesh chancery and its assistant high commissioner’s residence in Guwahati.”

“The appropriate Indian authorities (however) have already taken enhanced security measures to protect the Assistant High Commission premise, its personnel and members of their families,” the statement quoted her as saying.

A mob on Thursday tore down two signposts of the mission, 30 yards away from the chancery in Guwahati, a day after agitators attacked the security vehicle escorting Bangladesh assistant high commissioner as he was heading towards to the city from the airport.

According to reports, mobs protesting India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill attacked the security vehicle.

The statement said Bangladesh, however, “believes that the attack on the convoy of the assistant high commissioner and vandalisation of the signposts is a one-off incident and it will not affect the excellent bilateral relations that Bangladesh and India enjoy.”

The incidents took place as violent protests are underway over the adaptation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by Indian parliament prompting Assam authorities to enforce curfew in Guwahati.

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