Speakers from Bangladesh and India at a seminar Sunday advocated more people-to-people contact between the two countries and called for safeguarding the rights of minorities in the neighbouring country.
They were speaking at a seminar on 'Indo-Bangla Dialogue - Security to Minorities and Democracy' here.
Advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court and BNP's Khandakar Ahsan Habib said the ground level contacts between the people of Bangladesh and India were more important than solely keeping contacts between the ruling establishments.
Habib said the rights of the minority community needed to be safeguarded in Bangladesh and everyone should be allowed to exercise his/her right to vote in elections.
The vice-chancellor of Northern University in Bangladesh, Prof Yusuf Abdullah, said there should be more people-to-people exchanges between the two nations which share a common love and admiration for Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam.
On the minority issue, Abdullah said when people of different communities speak in the same language and live on the same land, there should be no segregation on the basis of religion and no persecution of anyone.
Former Assistant Director, Intelligence Bureau, Gadhadar Chatterjee said according to 2011 Census, there were 8.5 per cent Hindus in Bangladesh, 0.6 per cent Buddhists and 0.4 per cent Christians.
Pradip Halder, leader of an organisation of Hindu community members in Bangladesh, said whoever came to power in Bangladesh, the concerned party should work towards protecting the rights of minorities.
The discussion was organised by Indo-Bangladesh Cultural centre, International Community for Terror-free World and Global Minority Voice where the four were among the other speakers from the two countries.
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