Thousands gather to protest against Bangladesh violence at Assam’s Barak Valley

Assam, Oct 19: At least ten thousand people in Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi — the three districts of Assam’s Bengali-dominated Barak Valley to protest violence on religious minorities in Bangladesh during the Durga Puja celebration.

They burnt Bangladesh’s National flag, tried to cross the Indo-Bangladesh international border and called for boycotting Bangladeshi products.

This protest in Barak valley was organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) where members of several organisations, including Bharat Sevasram Sangha, Sankar Math, Gauriya Math, Bajrang Dal, women’s wing of RSS, joined to call for the “protection, safety, and security of the persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh”.

Thousands gather to protest against Bangladesh violence at Assam’s Barak Valley

In all three districts, police deployed additional security personnel and were on alert to prevent any untoward incident.

Some part of the Barak Valley was carved out of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) during the Partition. A large chunk of the population here comprises Hindus who migrated to India to escape religious persecution, and their social ties across the border remain strong even today.

The Barak Valley is the only part of Assam where the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which seeks to provide citizenship to religious minorities, enjoys strong support.

Through the respective deputy commissioners, the protestors on Monday submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Cachar district, a large bike rally was held in Silchar town, as well as in other parts.

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On Sunday, the Cachar district administration held a meeting with the organisers and appealed to people to “ensure peace and harmony.” The valley has an equal number of Hindus and Muslims and has witnessed episodes of communal tension in the past.

In Hailakandi district, at least two thousand gathered to protest against the violence in Bangladesh, said SP Gaurav Upadhyay.

In Karimganj that shares a riverine border with Bangladesh, nearly three thousand protestors had gathered. As per the report, some protesters attempted to jump into the Kushiara river to “cross over” to the neighbouring country to “save the Hindus”. But they were stopped by the security personnel stationed there.