Dhaka, October 8: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday vowed to clamp down on militancy and terrorism with an iron fist also in future, saying that her government won’t allow any terrorist acts in the name of religion.
“Our government has always taken stern action against terrorism and militancy and would continue to curb the twin demons with an iron hand … there would be no place of terrorism and militancy on the soil of Bangladesh,” she said.
“Islam is a religion of peace and there is no room for terrorism and militancy in it … we won’t tolerate any terrorist acts in the name of religion,” she added
The Prime Minister was addressing the Hindu devotees while visiting the Durga Puja Mandops at Dhakeswari National Temple in the city this afternoon.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokan, General Secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad Advocate Taposh Kumar Paul, President of Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee DM Chatterjee and General Secretary Advocate Shyamal Kumar Paul spoke on the occasion.
PM’s Political Affairs Advisor HT Imam, local parliament member Haji Mohammad Selim, President of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad Jayanta Sen Dipu were present on the dais.
Sheikh Hasina also said Islam is a religion of peace, harmony and brotherhood and there is no room for terrorism and militancy in it. “Those who commit such crimes are in fact working against the religion,” she said.
The premier said her government wants to create such an atmosphere where the people of all faiths would perform their religious rites freely. “The religion is an affair of individuals, while festivals are for all … Sokaler tore sakole amra, amra manober tore (We’re for each other, we’re for humanity). We always maintain and perform it,” she said.
She said her government does not want conflicts, rather it wants peace, prosperity and development.
“We want development in such a way that all people irrespective of caste, creed and religion will get the benefit,” she said.
Talking about the essence of all religions, she said that welfare of the human beings is the main theme of all religions. “All will perform their religious activities with honour and everyone will show respect to others,” she said.
The Prime Minister urged all to work together for the development of the country and mentioned that Bangladesh believes in peaceful coexistence of all people. “And all religions speak of harmony and tolerance.”
During the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina said, people from all religions had made their supreme sacrifice. “We want people to live in peace, we want the triumph of humanity … that’s our desire,” she said.
The premier said the people of all faiths fought for independence of the country under the leadership of Bangabandhu. “The people irrespective of caste, creed and religions joined the Liberation War by responding to the call of Bangabandhu and they shed their blood to achieve independence,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu dreamt of establishing a poverty and hunger-free Sonar Bangla. “We are striving to achieve the goal and the country advanced much in this regard,” she said.
Later, the prime minister visited Ramkrishna Mission Temple and Math at Ramkrishna Mission Road and exchanged greetings with the devotees there.
Principal of Ramkrishna Math and Mission Swami Dhrubeshananda delivered the welcome address at the function held at Dhaka Ramkrishna Mission.
Earlier, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad and Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee greeted the Prime Minister by presenting her with flower bouquets at Dhakeswari National Temple.
The office-bearers of Dhaka Ramkrishna Mission also welcomed Sheikh Hasina with bouquets at the outset of the function there.
The premier said the main goal of independence was to build Bangladesh with non-communal spirit where harmony and brotherhood among all faiths would exist forever. “The people of all religions fought the Liberation war under the leadership of Bangabandhu together with that dream,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been striving to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu as well as the three million martyrs. “We remain engaged in establishing such a Bangladesh where the people of all faiths would lead a beautiful life and live with dignity.”
Extending her heartiest greetings to the people of the Hindu community at home and abroad on the occasion of their biggest religious festival, Durga Puja, Sheikh Hasina said the people of the Hindu community are celebrating their festival in a festive mood.
“The biggest asset of the people of the country is brotherhood as they enjoy each other’s festival together and we want to build the country with that spirit,” she said.
The premier said the aim of her government is to build a hunger and poverty-free Sonar Bangla envisaged by Bangabandhu. “We want such a Bangladesh where there won’t be any difference between the rich and the poor and every person would live with equal rights and get a better life triumphing over the poverty,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world as it is now self-reliant in food and its economy stood on a solid footing thanks to various pragmatic steps of the present government. “There is an immense contribution of the people of all levels and faiths to this success,” she said, putting emphasis on retaining this achievement.
The premier wished that the environment that her government has created for the people of all faiths to celebrate their religious festival remains intact.