One of the largest Islamist political parties in Bangladesh, Islami Andolon Bangladesh, on Thursday organised a protest rally in the capital city of Dhaka against the remarks made by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on the Prophet Muhammad.
The protestors demanded that a resolution be passed in the Parliament condemning the remarks made by the former BJP spokespersons and that the Indian ambassador be summoned along with the demand to arrest the former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Several other like-minded parties also took part in the protest under their own banners.
Several thousand protestors staged a demonstration in front of the downtown Baitul Mokarram Mosque and then headed towards the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, several kilometres away from the spot, defying rains. However, the riot police blocked the protesters in the Shantinagar area.
INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION RECEIVES MEMORANDUM
Police, however, allowed a delegation of five representatives of the outfit to present a memorandum to the deputy police commissioner’s office at Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave in Baridhara area, where the Indian High Commission is located.
“We received the memorandum and handed it over to the Indian High Commission,” Deputy Police Commissioner Mohammad Asaduzzaman told reporters.
The protesters also demanded that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should publicly condemn the controversial remarks and that the Indian authorities should arrest the two now-suspended BJP leaders.
WHAT WAS SAID AT RALLY?
Speakers from the rally spoke out against India and former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.
The speakers also called for a boycott of Indian products.
Meanwhile, the rally drew criticism from Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and her government for not holding formal protests.
SECOND PROTEST IN DHAKA IN A WEEK
The protest was the second such demonstration in Dhaka in a week. Last Friday, hundreds of people took to the streets in Dhaka and several other major cities in Bangladesh over the issue.
Earlier this week, Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said that the controversy triggered by remarks made by two former BJP functionaries against Prophet Mohammad is India’s “internal issue” and it is not an attention-grabbing matter in Bangladesh unlike in some other Muslim nations.
Talking to a group of visiting Indian journalists here, Mahmud said, “It is not an internal matter (of Bangladesh), but an external issue. This is India’s internal issue. Whenever something like this happens in the world, some Islamic parties protest here too and it usually happens.”
(With inputs from PTI)