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India`s concern is understandable but we expect constructive cooperation

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By MAINUL HOSEIN
21st-Jun-2016       
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The President of West Bengal Congress Mr Adhir Chowdhury urged the Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms Mamata Banerjee to use her cordial relationship with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to address the issue of attacks on minorities in Bangladesh. BJP's state executive committee also condemned terrorist attacks on minorities blaming communal forces in Bangladesh.The Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh visited Ramkrishna Mission in Dhaka and he was satisfied with security arrangement put in place. Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla was careful in recognising the responsibility of Bangladesh Government to protect the citizens of Bangladesh.In our view  Mr Shringla was  right in evaluating the crisis of militancy we are facing. Our people are far from being communal but there are some over enthusiasts who are too eager to find communalism as the only serious problem in Bangladesh and nothing else is wrong here. They are political non-entities but they have a strong anti-democracy political agenda.  They are at the root of misguiding the government. They are power hungry but have no support of the people.We feel they are making the grave mistake by ignoring the lack of safety and security for the entire population. It cannot be right that the militancy in Bangladesh can be explained away so simplistically by blaming communalism. India's External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj gave full support for the measures taken by Prime Minister and in particular mentioned as a strong step the arrest of 3000 people.By now in fact more than fourteen thousand mostly young men are in jail and arrests were made indiscriminately without arrest warrants and not based on serious intelligence. It is widely suspected that the decision to mass arrest was a political decision taken non-politically.Such mass arrest cannot be helpful to contain militancy. All responsible sections of our population, including the Chairman of Human Rights Commission, has expressed deep concern and anxiety in massive violation of human rights committed by mass arrest and extra-judicial killings.More people have been antagonised by such mass arrest than those who want to be helpful to the government in dealing with the human crisis of killing and counter-killing going on freely. It will be a myopic view to think that militancy is against the minorities.The crisis of power struggle without tolerance and without caring to build good governance but depending on abuse of police power cannot be considered conducive to peace and order anywhere.We are living under extremely divisive politics where the general public cannot expect protection of the rule of law. The massive arrest of innocent people speaks volume how helpless the people are. The people are living in fear and the government in darkness about the reality on the ground. The abuse of police power undermines not only police professionalism but also the people's respect for law.We need for the safety of all the correct assessment of reasons for unrest and violence in the country. The situation is more helpless for the fact that in Bangladesh we do not have democratic opposition. In truth, not to allow responsible democratic opposition is the policy of the government. The picture is clear from the composition of the parliament. This is the only parliament under parliamentary democracy where opposition has chosen as part of the government.Crossfire killing by police is encouraged and defended by the government about which the government is surely misguided. No one can deny that our government is dominated by bureaucratic ideas and not political considerations.One can rightly claim that the government has no political considerations to understand and deal with the political antagonism growing in the absence of politics of tolerance and unity. The government has no politics to secure public support or face free elections. Corruption is used extensively for buying loyalty of the wrong people. The Finance Minister himself had to admit that ocean level corruption is going on.As a mature democratic nation and closest neighbour of Bangladesh, India must know we are conscious of the importance of peace and order in Bangladesh and that India must not make wrong assessment of the crisis in Bangladesh. Bangladesh's relationship with India needs to be treated as a very sensitive issue and must be handled with care and political maturity. Our people's deep commitment to democratic freedoms and democratic government cannot be considered as unimportant for our people to live together and in harmony. Bangladesh is confronted with an election-less power struggle where the people must not have any role in choosing their government or deciding their politics. The few "wise men" will decide the fate of the nation, but that is not clear who those Bangladeshis are.Because of India's help in our liberation war the leaders of India cannot allow themselves to be misguided about the democratic aspirations of our people.We are not talking about party squabble between Awami League and BNP, we are emphasising national politics which has to be democratic. 

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