Prime Minister Hasina says hurting religious sensitivities will not be accepted

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked everyone to be careful about what they write and said her government will brook no act that disparages religious beliefs and sensitivities.

Published : 3 Sept 2015, 03:14 PM
Updated : 3 Sept 2015, 04:54 PM

“No one in this country has the right to speak in a way that hurts religious sentiment,” she said while exchanging greetings with Hindu leaders on Thursday.

“You won’t practise religion – no problem. But you can’t attack someone else’s religion. You’ll have to stop doing this.

“It won’t be tolerated if someone else’s religious sentiment is hurt,” the prime minister said.

After the murder of secular blogger Niladri Chatterjee Niloy at his house in Dhaka on Aug 7, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and police chief AKM Shahidul Haque issued similar warnings.

Their comments drew much flak amidst no significant headway in the investigations into the murders of secular blog activists.

Niloy was the fourth secular blogger to be hacked to death this year. Avijit Roy, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu and Ananta Bijoy Das were killed the same way.

On Thursday, Hasina said: “We want that people will live in this country peacefully, and with rights. They will practise their own religion freely.”

She told the Hindu leaders, who came to meet her ahead of Janmashtami: “Don’t belittle yourselves by terming yourselves minority.

“You live in this country with the right of motherland. You are people of this country… citizens,” she said.

The prime minister also said secularism did not mean impiety. “There will be no religious divide in Bangladesh.”

Awami League Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sengupta, Religious Affairs Minister Matior Rahaman, State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda, Dhaka Ramakrishna Mission Principal Swami Dhrubeshananda and Chittagong Shankar Math’s Suresharananda, among others, were present.