Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government's silence on the recent communal attacks on Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, is being questioned by some Opposition parties in the state.
"When the state is seeing protests over these attacks, her (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) silence is a sad thing," said Sujan Chakraborty, a leader of the Communist party of India (Marxist, adding that the Left would always be at the forefront of any fight against Hindu or Muslim fundamentalists.
Several people have raised questions TMC’s silence on the Bangladesh communal attacks, while recollecting news reports of one of the party’s former Rajya Sabha MP's alleged links with Muslim fundamentalist organisations in Bangladesh, such as the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.
It may be recalled that Shahriar Kabir, a noted intellectual and leader of Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee of Bangladesh, had visited Kolkata last year, and had called out former TMC Rajya Sabha MP Ahmad Hasan Imran for his alleged role in ‘fomenting’ Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh.
Reports in Daily Ganashakti, a West Bengal-based Left-leaning daily, also allege that Imran's links run “deeper “than what had earlier been envisaged.
Despite these controversies, Imran continued as MP until 2020, the end of his term. While he was an MP, he was continuously questioned by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation for alleged money laundering and illegal money transfer. The Central investigative agencies had also probed him in the Saradha chit fund case.
‘Fodder for Hindutva Forces’
The ‘silence’ of TMC on Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh has provided fodder to Hindutva organisations active in the state, say sources. Outfits like the Bajrang Dal and Hindu Mahasabha recently conducted a meeting at Rani Rashmoni Road in Kolkata and gave ‘inciting’ speeches about the recent events in Bangladesh.
Right-wing groups are currently running hate campaigns on social media to utilise these incidents for their political gains. Using their communal rhetoric, they wish to make gains in the upcoming bye-election to the Shantipur Assembly segment.
Though the communal incidents in Bangladesh haven't led to similar incidents in West Bengal, Hindutva groups are looking to draw mileage from the situation. Their recent programme in Kolkata received was allowed to proceed by Kolkata police. But, when Left activists in the city attempted to mobilise on the issue, they were stopped, citing COVID-19 protocol, said Left activists.