New Delhi: Day after an alleged attack on its mission and a senior diplomat in Guwahati by groups protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the Indian high commissioner to “discuss” the matter.
According to official sources, Riva Ganguly Das, India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, was called by the authorities Thursday evening, and was asked to ensure safety of the country’s diplomats in India.
“There has been attack on our diplomat and our mission premises… We have taken it up with India to ensure safety of our diplomats posted there,” an official from the Bangladesh government told ThePrint.
While some media reports are saying Das was “summoned”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh is yet to come out with a statement to that effect.
According to official sources in India, consultations between both sides happen routinely to discuss challenging issues.
This comes a day after Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their scheduled travel to India, even as tension peaked in India over the passage of the citizenship bill by Parliament.
According to the bill, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 31 December 2014 facing religious persecution, won’t be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, however, said Thursday CAB is not talking about persecution of Hindus under the Sheikh Hasina regime but about religious persecution that had taken place in Bangladesh in the past.
‘Attack’ on Assistant High Commissioner in Guwahati
Assam has been witnessing marches and rallies ever since the Lok Sabha passed the bill Monday, with the protests turning violent after Rajya Sabha too cleared the proposed law that offers citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted illegal immigrants from three countries.
The people of Assam are against the bill as they want no illegal immigrant, Hindu or Muslim, who they feel threaten their ethnic and cultural identity.
With protests raging, curfew has been imposed in the state, and the government has stopped internet services.
Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Shah Mohammad Tanvir Mansur was in Guwahati Wednesday when the security vehicle escorting him to the city from the airport was allegedly attacked by the mob protesting against the passage of the citizenship bill.
Besides, a group was also seen vandalising the chancery premises of the Bangladeshi mission in the Assam city.