Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Joint General Secretary of Awami League, Dr Hasan Mahmud, has asked citizens to beware of those who instigate communal violence.
"This country was created under the leadership of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, by the blood of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. Everyone should be careful so that no one can destroy the peace by instigating communal violence in a peaceful country," said Hasan, addressing the Mahashova Yatra on the occasion of Janmashtami in Chattogram on Friday (19 August).
He said, Bangladesh was formed to create a non-communal state after coming out of the religion-dominated system of Pakistan. But there are political parties in Bangladesh who capitalise on communalism and engage in politics. "They give communal slogans during elections, abuse the Awami League, and say we are a party of 'Hindus'. We are the party of all the people – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians. Bangladesh Awami League is a party of all the people."
Former Mayor and General Secretary of Chattogram city Awami League (AL) AJM Nasir Uddin inaugurated the function.
Mikel Dey, convenor of Janmastami Udjapan Parishad Chattogram, presided over the function while Commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Krishna Pada Roy, Sree Sree Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Bangladesh (SSJUPB) Central President industrialist Sukumar Chowdhury, its Central General Secretary engineer Prabir Kumar Sen and different religious organisations, professional bodies and public representatives attended the function.
Sree Sree Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Bangladesh (SSJUPB) brought out a colourful rally that paraded different important streets.
Thousands of Hindu devotees irrespective of genders and ages including theologians, hermits, hundreds of students from different educational institutions joined the procession witnessed by onlookers and passers-by from either sides of city streets.
Hasan Mahmud said, no one will suffer from inferiority in this country composed of people of all religions. "You are born on the soil of this country; you will resist if someone hurts you. Awami League is by your side, and the government intends to remain by your side."
From time to time, with unwanted actions, miscreants try to destroy communal harmony in Bangladesh. Our government has always cracked down on such actions, said Hasan, adding that he spent many sleepless nights after the last Durga Puja incident in Cumilla.
"And during elections, you know those who give communal slogans, try to instigate communalism, talk sweetly; So, when the time comes, I humbly request you to be careful about them too," the minister told the gathering.
The information minister said the way Janmashtami is celebrated in Chattogram with a procession is not celebrated anywhere else in Bangladesh, so this event is definitely a national event.
The prime minister joined the occasion virtually on Thursday.
In the afternoon, Hasan Mahmud spoke at Chattogram Circuit House in a discussion meeting on the preparation of the master plan for the development project of Jungle Salimpur and adjoining areas of the district.
At the end of the meeting, he handed over cheques of Tk50,000 from the Ministry of Social Welfare to 320 unwell people in the district.
Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Member of Parliament Didarul Alam, General Secretary of Metropolitan Awami League, former mayor AJM Nasir, were present at the programme under the chairmanship of Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Mominur Rahman.