Durga Puja began on Uttara club ground Thursday and the celebration is peaceful so far
Speculations grow on social media over an anonymous letter that sought to stop Durga Puja celebration on the Friends Club ground at Uttara Sector-3 in the capital, and warned of strong resistance otherwise.
The Friends Club management committee and puja organisers said they had received the letter, but are celebrating the religious festival peacefully ignoring it.
In the meantime, police claimed not to have received any such letter even though it has been doing round-ups in social media for the last couple of days.
The club, the puja celebration committee and police, all are still in the dark about the sender of the letter. They also could not even mention anything about who posted it on Facebook.
Referring to local residents, the letter said there are at least four mosques adjacent to the ground and there is almost no Hindu residence at the area. "Puja celebration and gathering on the ground hamper prayers at the mosques and home, and people's movement – as it did last year," the letter added.
However, Iqbal Tanjir, who has been residing at area at least for the last ten years, said he sees no problem in arranging the celebration on the club ground.
"Durga Puja has been celebrated here in the last couple of years. The same ground also hosts Eid congregations, Baishakhi fair and other events. I do not see any issue to arrange puja here," he added.
Iqbal suspects the letter could be a part of a plot to destabilise the long-standing religious harmony at the area.
Echoing him, Uttara Friends Club Manager Mohammad Khalil Miah also termed the letter "pathetic". But he said he had no idea who could have sent it to them.
The club Secretary, Shaheed Ahmed Siddiquey, also general secretary of Uttara West Thana unit of Awami League, told The Business Standard that they did not pay any heed to the letter.
"Though the culprits are yet to be identified, the celebration began Thursday on the club ground and it is proceeding peacefully," he added.
The letter also said the celebration could intensify the virus situation.
It read, "Our hearts bleed as we came to know that the preparation is going on to celebrate puja on the Friends Club ground. Thousands are getting infected by Covid-19 while many died and public gathering is still prohibited in the country. The last two Eid congregations were held inside mosques.
"Now, if the puja is celebrated with a huge gathering, the virus could break out massively. If the committee arranges it forcefully, the Muslims irrespective of political identity and belief will burst with anger and share a strong resistance," it added.
Noni Gopal Gosh, general secretary of Uttara Friends Club Puja Udjapon Parishad, said they also faced such verbal opposition last year.
"This time they sent a letter to the club and copies to different authorities," he added.
The organiser said there is no security concern yet. "We are also maintaining health safety measures as per the government guidelines. But an individual or a group who wants to destabilise the religious harmony need to be identified immediately," he added.
While contacted, Md Shohidullah, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Uttara Division) told TBS that they had not received any such letter.
"The puja celebration is smooth and there is no security concern," he added.