Narendra Modi may have become India’s prime minister, but the Bharatiya Janata Party leader has a long way to go before he can win hearts and minds in neighboring Bangladesh.
In this Muslim-majority country of 140 million people, the Hindu-nationalist Mr. Modi is seen as a controversial and polarizing figure whose confrontational style may harm the delicate relationship between the south Asian neighbors.
As stressed upon in an article in the Wall Street Journal, many people in Bangladesh are worried about Mr. Modi’s campaign rhetoric which seems to be aimed at Bangladesh. They are also concerned that Mr. Modi did not do enough to contain the communal riots in 2002 in Gujarat which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, while he was the chief minister of the state. Mr. Modi has denied any wrongdoing.
During his recentelection campaign in the eastern state of West Bengal, Mr. Modi spoke about taking a harder line against Bangladesh and expelling what he called “illegal immigrants.” Many Bangladeshi families migrated to India during and after the partition of India in 1947 and maintain a presence on both sides of the border. Modi said at Serampore in West Bengal, which shares a porous border with Bangladesh: “You can write it down. After May 16, these Bangladeshis better be prepared with their bags packed.”
Despite the above rhetoric, one would have thought that Mr Modi, presently PM of a country and not a minsiter of a mere state, would have tried to leave behind the past and work towards building upon the concept of cooperation with a neighbouring country to alleviate this distrust by atleast ensuring that nothing untoward would be happening at the moment.
Sadly, that does not seem to be the case. In what seems to an unchanged chain of one sided violations, a Bangladeshi young man was beaten to death by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) troops on Putkhali border in Sharsha upazila early Monday.
The deceased was identified as Sirajul Islam, 25, a cattle trader and son of Akbar Ali, a resident of Jhikargachha upazila headquarters.
Lieutenant Colonel Mostafizur Rahman, commanding officer of BGB 23 Battalion, said Sirajul was brutally beaten by the BSF members of Angrail camp, leaving him severely injured at around 4:00am, when he was returning with cattle from the Indian side with other cattle traders.
Sirajul was rescued by the cattle traders who were taking him home along the Putkhali border where he succumbed to his injuries in the morning.
On information, police recovered the body, said Apurba Hasan, officer-in-charge of Benapole Port Police Station.
Another life extinguished, and there is an absolute one hundred percent assurance that justice will not be served, that this is just another life snubbed in a long line of many more.