India seeks action over crimes against minorities in Bangladesh

New Delhi, March 3: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, during a meeting with her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, has sought “swift action” over crimes against minorities in the South Asian neighbour. “Referring to recent incidents of attacks on minorities in Bangladesh, the external affairs minister sought swift action against the perpetrators of the crimes by the Bangladesh authorities,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday. “Foreign Minister Ali assured that the government of Bangladesh was conscious of the importance of checking the activities of radical forces in the country and expressed the commitment of his government to safeguarding Bangladesh's secular, progressive and liberal character,” it said. Wednesday's meeting between the two ministers assumes significance because of Bangladesh government's clampdown on terrorist elements following the killing of a head priest of a Hindu temple in the country last month, the responsibility for which was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terror outfit. The external affairs ministry statement also said that the two ministers, while applauding the excellent state of relations that currently prevails between India and Bangladesh, expressed their determination to deepen ties even further.  “Matters of mutual interest including future political exchanges, security, connectivity and transit, power, energy, water etc. were discussed,” it stated. On Tuesday, Ali addressed the Raisina Dialogue here, a global conclave on geopolitics and geo-economics organised by the external affairs ministry and the Observer Research Foundation. He called for integration of the South Asian nations, saying that the newly formed Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-regional coordinative architecture would prove to be a game changer in the region. Sushma Swaraj and Ali will meet again at the Joint Consultative Commission meeting scheduled to be held in Dhaka later this year.