As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on a two-day visit, Bangladesh’s Hindu community on Saturday said they live in "constant fear of persecution" by the religious fundamentalists and wanted the Indian leader to take note of this and raise it with the Bangladeshi leadership.
"The religious majority and the fundamental groups want the Hindus to leave this country, where we are born and brought up," said Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council.
He said Hindus are under the "constant fear of persecution" by fundamentalists and felt India, as a global player, could help improve their conditions.
"We feel Narendra Modi, being the Prime Minister of India, should send out a strong message to the fundamental forces of Bangladesh that attack on minorities will not be tolerated," Dasgupta told PTI on a day Modi arrived here on his maiden visit.
Renowned theatre activist Piyush Bandopadhaya wants Modi to voice the concerns of the minorities especially the Hindus with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
"No doubt the Sheikh Hasina government is very friendly towards the minorities but we feel that if Modi steps in, it will be more fruitful," he said.
Human rights groups and Hindu leaders in Bangladesh have been demanding more security for minorities amid regular reports of attack on them in several parts of the country.
"We feel that if both the countries resolve together to fight against fundamentalism and religious terrorism of majority community on minority community. Then the problems of attack on minorities will be solved. We, the people of Bangladesh, want to live up to the principles propagated Sheikh Mujibur Rehman," ruling Awami League leader Pankaj Debnath told PTI.
Senior ministers of Bangladesh government feel the condition of minorities is much better than it used to be during the BNP rule.
"It is a basic psychological factor that minorities of any country always feel insecured. But the Awami League government is a secular government and protection of the rights of religious minorities of our country is our topmost priority and duty.
"The minorities in Bangladesh are safe and whenever any untoward incident happens, we take stern action," said Minister of State for Home affairs, Asaduzzaman Khan.
From Pradipta Tapadar