Student leader Nur threatens to stop India PM Modi visiting Bangladesh

Student leader Nurul Haque Nur has threatened to prevent Narendra Modi from visiting Bangladesh if the Indian prime minister plans to join Bangabandh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary celebrations.

Dhaka University
Published : 26 Feb 2020, 06:23 PM
Updated : 26 Feb 2020, 06:23 PM

Nur, the vice-president of Dhaka University Students’ Union or DUCSU, has urged the Awami League government “not to smear” the 100 Years of Mujib celebrations or Mujib Barsha by inviting Modi, calling the Hindu nationalist leader a “communal rioter”.

The yearlong celebrations will start on Mar 17, the 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

The government is inviting a number of heads of state and government to the opening ceremony.

Modi has not been invited officially yet, but he is reportedly coming to Bangladesh to join the ceremony.

Nur, who won the top post for students in the DUCSU as a candidate of the Bangladesh Council to Protect General Students’ Rights, expressed his reservations about the plans to invite Modi while addressing a rally organised by the council on the campus on Wednesday.

It organised the rally against violent attacks on those protesting against India’s new citizenship law that allows religiously persecuted people other than Muslims to seek Indian citizenship.

“The Father of the Nation is not only the leader of a political party. He is a leader of the Bengalis from all walks of life. He is a leader of the freedom-seeking people of the world,” Nur said.

“Communal rioter Modi can’t join his [Bangabandhu’s] birthday celebrations. And if he comes, the general students will prevent him even if they have to shed blood. We won’t allow [the government] to smear Banghabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations by bringing a communal person like Modi,” he said.

The DUCSU VP said Modi has “blood of the masses, especially the Muslims, in his hands”.

“Modi started the Hindu-Muslim riot over a simple incident in 2002 only for political gains when he was the chief minister of Gujarat,” Nur said.

Now the US President Donald Trump is calling Modi “a close friend” but the US denied him diplomatic visa in 2005 for his involvement in communal violence, the student leader said. “Many other countries had banned him at the time,” he said.

“It will be an insult to Bangabandhu if a person like Modi joins the Mujib Barsha events,” Nur said.

He said the students would “salute a secular person” like former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee if he joins the Mujib Barsha celebrations. “Many Nobel laureates have also been invited. We will welcome such progressive and secular people,” he said.

Rashed Khan, a joint convenor of the council, said, “India is our friend but not Modi. The students of Bangladesh will never condone the communal riot he has started in India.”

The council later took out a procession on the campus.

Its Convenor Hasan Al Mamun, DUCSU Social Services Secretary Akhter Hussain, the council’s Joint Convenor Faruk Hasan and Dhaka University unit President Bin Yamin Mollah, among others, attended the events.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher