New Delhi: The fatwa issued by clerics and religious scholars in Bangladesh against terrorism and suicide attacks is a welcome step, Extrenal affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Sunday.
Responding to a media query about attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, she said that the incidents were "unfortunate and painful for us" but the Bangladesh government was acting on them.
"We have been raising such issues at the highest level and the Bangladesh government is doing its best in this regard. They are taking tough steps against terrorists. But more heartening is the fatwa issued by their religious scholars against terrorism," the minister said.
The fatwa (an edict) issued recently declares terrorism and suicide attacks as "haraam" or forbidden under Islamic law, and has been signed by over 400,000 Islamic scholars and Imams in Bangladesh.
A 32-page booklet comprising the signatures on the fatwa was brought out on Saturday.
"If the religious scholars and clerics in a country issue an edict against such violence against non-Muslims, it shows that both the public and the government there are against such acts of violence and terror," said Sushma Swaraj.
The attacks in Bangladesh, a Muslim majority country of 160 million people, began in 2013 and intensified in 2015, claiming more than 40 lives in total.
The most recent episode was on June 15 when three suspected extremists attacked and seriously wounded a Hindu mathematics teacher at his home in Madaripur, south of Dhaka.