Bangladesh's ruling party Awami League's (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader has instructed party members to ensure the safety and security of Hindu homes and places of worship during Durga Puja celebrations.
Quader emphasized the need for vigilance throughout the festival to thwart any untoward incidents at a meeting with representatives of the Puja Udjapan Parishad on Friday.
Quader said, "With 32,408 puja mandaps, the police alone cannot adequately oversee their protection. To prevent any misconduct by troublemakers, it is our collective responsibility, as proponents of non-communal politics, to stand together and prevent any form of violence or obstruction."
Recently, the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad organized a demonstration in Cumilla to protest against the controversial comments of AKM Bahauddin Bahar, a local MP, who called for 'alcohol-free festivities'.
During the demonstration, it was alleged that pro-government Jubo League and Chhatra League activists attacked the procession. Oikya Parishad leaders also accused the police of obstructing their activities.
Quader said that the Awami League is investigating the incident of violence in Cumilla.
He said, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has personally inquired about the situation. The party is thoroughly examining the incident, and organisational actions will be taken against anyone found to have misbehaved."
The road transport and bridges minister, however, acknowledged that communal harmony during religious festivals can be a delicate issue.
"Religious festivals often carry a unique dynamic, but isolated incidents can occasionally occur. This is especially true during Hindu festivals when incidents of violence may arise," he added.