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Eminent Bangladesh citizens express concern over Delhi riots

  • Published at 10:08 pm February 27th, 2020
Demonstrators attend a protest against a new citizenship law in Shaheen Bagh, area of New Delhi, India January 19, 2020 Reuters

They also urge for calm and communal harmony in Bangladesh

Twelve eminent citizens of Bangladesh have expressed grave concern over the communal clashes going on in New Delhi, the capital of neighbouring India, over the new citizenship law.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the Bangladeshi citizens called upon the Indian government and citizens to take prompt measures to protect and uphold communal harmony and democratic ideologies. 

They also urged the people of Bangladesh to uphold communal harmony here.

The signatories to the statement are: Dr Anisuzzaman, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Hasan Azizul Haque, Anupam Sen, Hasan Imam, Sarwar Ali, Ramendu Majumder, Mofidul Haque, Tariq Ali, Mamunur Rashid, Nasiruddin Yousuf, and Golam Kuddus.

In the statement, the eminent citizens expressed fear that India’s failure to handle the situation could create a volatile environment in its neighbouring countries, which could destroy peace, democracy, development, and communal harmony in the region.

Regarding the situation in India, they said several social and political forces had been protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act through demonstration, statements and rallies, but recently the situation deteriorated, leading to violent attacks on the protesters.

The eminent citizens termed India as a proven friend of Bangladesh, who played a great role by helping Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971, and urged it to take action to protect its communal harmony and democratic ideologies.

They also expressed hope that a conscious awareness of harmony against violence would prevent all fanatic acts in Bangladesh.

The latest bout of clashes over the CAA have been going on in Delhi for four straight days, with the death toll from the violence rising to 34 as of yesterday. Over 200 people were injured as well.

The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday rebuked police for their lack of professionalism in controlling the violence.

Protests and violence have erupted across India since the enactment of the CAA and declarations by the Indian government that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out nationwide.

The CAA, passed by the Indian parliament on December 11, 2019, aims to fast-track citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who arrived in India before December 31, 2014 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan – India’s three neighbours with Muslim-majority population.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a citizenship record that is the long-delayed culmination of anti-illegal migrant movement in Assam, which led to the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985. 

Under the accord, those who entered Assam after March 25, 1971 – primarily from Bangladesh – would be declared as foreigners and be deported to their native countries. 

The final NRC list of Assam was released on August 31 2019, where the names of 1.9 million people were excluded.