While visiting India I said this government has to be kept in power: Foreign minister

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen in the event of Janmashtami at JM Sen Hall in Chattogram city on 18 August 2022Prothom Alo

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen has requested the Indian government to do whatever is necessary to help the incumbent Bangladesh government led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina continue. He said, “I went to India and said that Sheikh Hasina has to be kept in power.”

The foreign minister said these on the occasion of Janmashtami at JM Sen Hall in Chattogram on Thursday evening.

The Bangladesh foreign minister also said that both the countries (Bangladesh and India) need political stability. This will be possible if India supports the government of Sheikh Hasina.

Referring to the incidents of communal violence that happened in Bangladesh and India at various times, the foreign minister said that no one should do such a thing and exaggerate any kind of incitement to create an unstable situation. A few mosques were burnt in the neighboring country. It was not allowed to circulate the news in Bangladesh. The reason for this is that there are some evil people, some militants, who will weaponise the incident and do more destruction. He said, “Many people call me an agent of India, because many things happen yet I do not issue any strong statement.”

Addressing India, the foreign minister said, “Few days ago a lady said something, we did not say a word... Various countries spoke about it ... we did not say a word. We are providing you with this kind of protection too. This is both for your well-being and ours.”

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen also mentioned that India is benefitted because of prime minister Sheikh Hasina. He said, “There is no need to spend extra (money) at the border in India. Apart from this, 2.8 million people from Bangladesh visit India every year. Several hundred thousand Indians work in Bangladesh.”

Demonstration against foreign minister, display of black flag

An organisation called ‘Bikkhubdha Sanatani Samaj’ organised a programme of displaying black flag in protest against foreign minister AK Abdul Momen’s participation in Chattogram Janmashtami Festival Parishad programme. The programme was held at the city’s Cheragi Pahar intersection on Thursday afternoon. Many participated in the programme with black flags in their hand while some had their faces covered with black cloth.

Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad (Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council) general secretary Rana Dasgupta, Chattogram District Puja Udjapan Parishad president Shyamal Palit, general secretary Ashok Deb, Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad’s Chattogram city unit general secretary Nitai Prasad Ghosh, Hindu Mahajote Chattogram convener Jishu Rakkhit were present in the black flag display programme.

Rana Dasgupta said that the foreign minister has lied about the minority community people in Bangladesh. He repeatedly said that there was no communal violence in Bangladesh. Foreign minister must apologise for his false statement, otherwise people of minority communities will fight and resist in unison.

After the rally, participants took out a procession from Cheragi Pahar in the city and ended at Andarkilla intersection.

Different organisations including Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad have been holding various programmes including human chain, procession and rally since June demanding the resignation of the foreign minister.

The foreign minister held a meeting with India’s National Security advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi in June. There he said false information was spread about the attack on the temples of the Hindu community in Bangladesh. Apart from this, he also said that 33,000 puja mandaps was set up at the government sponsorship last year. Various organisations including Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad have been protesting his statement since then.