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Statement of Priya Saha: Vested group trying to incite communal violence

  • Published at 02:42 am July 26th, 2019
Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad -Priya Saha
Leaders of Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad speak at a press conference, held at National Press Club in Dhaka on Thursday, July 25, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Priya Saha complained to US President Donald Trump at the meeting saying that 37 million Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians have disappeared from Bangladesh

Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad disavowed Priya Saha’s statement and its leaders alleged that a group with “vested interests” is trying to incite communal violence capitalizing on Priya’s statement.

General Secretary Rana Dasgupta of the unity council said that there is an attempt by some groups “to fish in troubled waters.”

“Some people are trying to use Priya’s statement to incite communal violence in the country. It's sad and unfortunate,” he said at a press conference at the National Press Club at Segunbagicha in Dhaka on Thursday.

Priya Saha, a Bangladeshi national, participated in the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the US Department of State in Washington DC from July 16 to 18.

Delegates from 106 countries, including about 40 foreign ministers, attended the conference at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state.

Priya Saha complained to US President Donald Trump at the meeting saying that 37 million Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians have disappeared from Bangladesh.

Rana said: “It is true that Priya Saha was one of the organizational secretaries of the organization. However, she did not represent the Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council at the religious harmony meeting but represented herself. Most of her comments are untrue.”

Also Read- Foreign minister: Priya Saha will not be arrested

“As per the decision made at the emergency meeting, the Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad has temporarily suspended its organizing secretary, Priya Saha,” he added.

Rana furthered that a three-member delegation of the organization travelled to the United States for the meeting, not including Priya Saha.

He also stated that the organization has no connection with Priya Saha after the incident. “We do not know when she will return home.”

Replying to a question, he said that only Priya Saha can explain what she meant when she used the term “disappear.” 

“Her claims of people ‘missing’ or ‘disappearing’ in an independent Bangladesh is untrue. We strongly condemned and protested the matter,” said the general secretary.

At the press conference, Rana said that the oppression of minorities is lesser than it was in the past but “repression of minorities is ongoing.”

Presenting the government data from Pakistan era up to 2011, Rana said that the number of Hindu population in the country has decreased.

In the national interest of Bangladesh, the problem of minority should not be overlooked but dealt with positively. He urged all to be cautious so that no one falls prey to such groups that are taking advantage of the situation.

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