Prime Minister Narendra Modi left behind a “thirsty” and “frustrated” Bangladesh by not resolving the festering Teesta river water issue, a Chinese state media analysis of Modi’s two-day visit to Dhaka said on Monday.
It added that the police had to crackdown on demonstrators out to protest against India’s stand on the water issue.
“Police on Saturday afternoon controlled a group of protesters on a road near Dhaka's National Press Club hours after the arrival of Modi who is still blamed for using inappropriate means to contain the 2002 Gujarat riots in which thousand (sic) of Muslims were killed,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said in an analysis while laying out details about the trip.
The article was carried under the headline: “Indian PM wraps up state visit, leaving behind ‘thirsty’ Bangladesh”.
It did mention that Dhaka and New Delhi signed 22 agreements including the “landmark exchange of Instruments of Ratification of 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and its 2011 Protocol”.
But the focus was on the Teesta waters.
“The Bangladeshi PM (Sheikh Hasina) said that her meeting with her counterpart was highly fruitful although the key Teesta water sharing deal issue suffered a blow again due to Delhi's reluctance to sign the pact, which frustrated Bangladeshi people and sparked protests.”
The write-up said citizens of Bangladesh are unlikely to believe Modi’s words that the water crisis will be resolved in a “humanitarian” manner.
“Experts say Bangladeshi people are very unlikely to be convinced by Modi's words. They say the government of India's West Bengal has diverted almost all of Teesta's water, leaving little for Bangladesh in recent years,” it said.
Quoting an anonymous source following the water question closely, Xinhua said that "Modi left behind a thirsty Bangladesh. The visit without the Teesta deal is now a matter of deep disappointment for us”.
The sudden reference to the riots is surprising as the tightly controlled state media here had carefully avoided mentioning the issue during the run-up to Modi’s high-profile China visit last month.
Most articles on him were laudatory and government media analysts referred to him as a “strong” and “pragmatic” leader with whom China could do business.
China was among the countries to give him visa in the aftermath when several western countries had refused to do so.
Read: Land boundary deal done, PM Modi talks Teesta, development in Bangladesh