PM Modi offers prayer at Matua temple in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, Mar 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered prayers at a Matua temple in Bangladesh's Orakandi, the birthplace of Hindu mystic figure and Matua community's spiritual guru Harichand Thakur.

Modi, who was wearing a mask, offered prayers at the Harichand-Guruchand Temple, where he was welcomed with 'Dhaak, Shankh, Ulu' in line with local rituals.

Orakandi is the abode of hundreds of Hindu Matua community, a large number of whom are residents of West Bengal.

Ahead of his visit, Modi had said he is looking forward to his interaction with representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri Sri Harichand Thakur disseminated his pious message.

Analysts said Modi's planned temple visit carry a political significance at the time of the ongoing assembly elections in West Bengal.

Last time when Prime Minister Modi visited Bangladesh in 2015, he offered puja at Dhakeshwari temple in the national capital.

Bangladesh has taken extra security measures for the Indian premier's visit in the wake of protests by few leftist and Islamist groups.

In 2016, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said their latest vital sample statistics report found the country’s total population to be 15.89 crore by the end of 2015 with the number of Hindus at 1.70 crore in the Muslim-majority nation. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH