Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran has said in a report to the government that Sheikh Hasina’s government was confident of handling the law and order situation in Bangladesh and was not even considering imposition of Emergency.
During his presence in New Delhi to attend the 6th annual conference of all Indian envoys, Saran submitted a detailed report to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
He did acknowledge the ‘atmosphere of terror’ created by the BNP and Jamaat activists who have killed nearly 70 people, mostly in fire-bombing of vehicles.
He identified some districts particularly affected by the violence—among them Feni. Chittagong, Jessore, Barisal, Rangpur, Magura and Dhaka.
But Saran’s report says the Hasina administration had controlled much worse situation in 2013 in the run-up to the elections.
“The Bangladesh government has taken stern measures to control the violence and it seems to be working. The law-enforcing agencies are working tirelessly to bring the situation under control and already they have achieved some success,” Saran is said to have told the Indian government in his report.
He said there were worries over the impending visit of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee but added that the Bangladesh government was confident of handling the visit.
“The government is doing everything possible to make the visit a success. There is no reason to worry over her (Mamata’s) security. They will take care of it,” a senior MEA official quoted Saran’s report as observing.
It says that the killing of scores of innocent civilians in fire-bombing by using Molotov cocktails has turned people against the agitators and that was helping the law-enforcing agencies get public support to control the violence.
Saran’s term as high commissioner in Dhaka is over in March this year. His successor has not yet been named.
The new foreign secretary S Jaishanker is finalising appointments of ambassadors and consul generals to several countries and Bangladesh is one of them.
MEA sources say they see Saran going to a ‘more important position ‘, as his tenure in Dhaka is seen as a great success during which India-Bangladesh relations reached new heights.
Saran is now said to be closely working with Delhi to pull through two of India’s outstanding commitments to the Hasina administration—the passage of the land boundary agreement in Parliament and the signing of the Teesta water sharing deal.
He seems to have convinced the Modi government that these must be done and Mamata Banerjee’s visit is considered important for those to happen.
Banerjee has been opposing both the deals but now seems to have relented on the land boundary agreement.