Preo Bala distorts research findings: Barkat

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 20:08, Jul 22,2019 | Updated: 00:00, Jul 23,2019


Bangladesh Economic Association president professor Abul Barkat said on Monday Preo Bala Biswas, also known as Priya Saha, presented his research findings in a distorted way claiming that some 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians remained missing in Bangladesh.

Barkat said this in a signed statement issued on Monday. 

‘Some one crore 13 lakh Hindus remained missing in 50 years since 1964 to 2013, according to my assessment,’ Barkat said adding that he had never mentioned in his book published  in 2016 that three crore 70 lakh Hindus, Buddhist and Christian went missing.

He said Priya Saha did not mention that timeframe —from 1964 to 2013 — which was crucial to his research.

Preo Bala mentioned in her complaint to the US president Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House that 37 million Hindus, Buddhist and Christian ‘disappeared’ in Bangladesh over the years.

Preo Bala, executive director of the NGO Self-Help Association for Rural People through Education and Entrepreneurship, or SHAREE, met Trump as a member of a group from different countries on July 17 during a global forum.

She also claimed later in a video statement that that she worked directly with Professor Barkat in 2011.

Barkat said Priya Saha did not work with him as a co-researcher, nor even as a research associate or research assistant.

He said he had only mentioned proportionate representation of different religious groups in total population from 1901 to 1911 compared to the 2011 population census conducted by the government.

He demanded that Priya Saha would quickly withdraw the ‘confusing and dishonest statements’ made in reference to his name.  

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