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Bangla Hindus' persecution: BJP MPs are agitated

Bangla Hindus' persecution: BJP MPs are agitated

Author: Pioneer News Service/New Delhi
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: November 21, 2001

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs have expressed their concern over atrocities against Bangladeshi Hindus which was forcing them to flee to India.

The incidents of pillage, looting and rape that have been occurring in Bangladesh after the recent general elections were raised by members. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee shared their concerns and said that there should be a complete halt to the violence against Hindus.

Mr Vajpayee said the Government had taken up the issue with Bangladesh and there had been "some" reduction in the levels of violence, but the incidents should cease altogether.

After listening to the views and inputs offered by BJP MPs, Mr Vajpayee said the situation is grim in the neighbouring country and the Indian Government has taken the matter seriously.

New Delhi is in continuous touch with the Bangladeshi Government and its High Commissioner here, he said. "We are pressing the Government to take corrective measures," Mr Vajpayee added. He said, the Government has sent an official to Dhaka to express India's concern.

The issue was raised by a Rajya Sabha MP who said about one and half lakhs of Hindus have already migrated to India after facing atrocities there.

He said that the new Government has strong links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and religious extremists who are bent upon ethnic cleansing of Hindus.

MPs demanded that the Centre should ask for a report from the West Bengal Governor. He also demanded the party to send a team to the areas where the people have migrated.

Union Minister of State Tapan Sikadar objected to the Border Security Force's approach of sending the Hindus back to Bangladesh "who were being butchered there."

He desired to lead an agitation over the issue and was told by the Prime Minister that he would be informed later on.

Mr Vajpayee in his speech defended the induction of George Fernandes into the Cabinet. He said there was no specific charge against Mr Fernandes. Mr Vajpayee said using his prerogative, he inducted Mr Fernandes into the Cabinet.

He told the members not to be apologetic about it and forcefully defend the decision of the Government.

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