People across Bangladesh are rising with the demand that convicted Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Mollaand other suspected war criminals hang.
The agitation for the demand spread across the country after a handful of protesters had started it on Tuesday at Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka.
The Shahbagh gathering later turned into a massive protest with several thousand people occupying the intersection to protest against the ‘soft’ verdict of life term and it was still going on Thursday for the third straight day.
The International War Crimes Tribunal-2 on Tuesday sentenced Molla to life in prison that the protesters are calling ‘too light’ compared to the crimes he did during the War of Independence in 1971.
People from all social classes are staging many protest programmes including blockades, meetings, rallies, processions, human-chains and demonstrations.
Leaders and activists of socio-political and cultural organisations have also expressed solidarity with the protests. Protestors sang patriotic songs and held cultural functions participated mostly by youths and freedom fighters.
bdnews24.com correspondents from districts reported that people in large number attended the programmes along with families on Thursday.
Teachers, students and professionals of universities have also lent their support to the demand and attended the protests against the verdict of the tribunal.
Hours after the delivery of the verdict, people assembled at Shahbagh protesting it. The angry crowd blockaded the busy intersection and began demonstrating demanding death sentence for the Jamaat leader who was once called ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ for his role in mass murders and other crimes during the war.
The demonstration in Dhaka was continuing on Thursday and a mass rally has been called at the same venue for 3pm on Friday.
Students and teachers of Rajshahi University on Thursday demonstrated for capital punishment of Molla.
Teachers, under the banner of Progressive Teachers Society, held a human-chain programme around 10am in front of the university’s Senate Building. Central Cultural Alliance took out a procession from the Central Library around 11pm. The teachers staged a sit-in protest on the campus.
Students, teachers and employees of Fine Arts Faculty took out another procession that paraded around the campus at the same time. Bangladesh Chhatra League’s university unit also demonstrated.
Meanwhile, hundreds of youths also gathered at Rajshahi City’s Alupotti intersection in the afternoon and demonstrated over the same demand.
Faridpur unit of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) held a rally in front of the Press Club in the morning and took out a procession in protest against the ICT-2 verdict.
A large number of freedom fighters, cultural activists and ordinary people demonstrated at the town’s Imamuddin Square from 3pm.
An organisation of youths held a sit-in programme and a rally on the Central Shaheed Minar premises of the hill district earlier in the day expressing solidarity with the Shahbagh protest.
The Chandpur Government College unit of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front took out a procession from the campus, formed a human chain and held a rally in front of the college library.
Students of Government Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy College started a sit-in over the same demand at the town’s MR Road in the morning. Ordinary people, leaders and activists of different student and cultural organisations joined the programme.
Different socio-cultural organisations, citizen platforms and political parties demonstrated in front of the Brahmanbaria Press Club at 10am on Thursday.
Freedom fighters, youths, students and activists of political parties blockaded the Dhaka-Manikganj bus stand area from 11:30am to 12:30pm in protest against the tribunal verdict. They also took out a procession later from there.
Around 200 students, teachers and employees of Islamic University in Kushtia formed a human chain and staged a rally around 11am in front of the Administrative Building. Leaders and activists of BCL’s university unit also demonstrated around 12pm demanding capital punishment for Molla. Narayanganj
Narayanganj Sangskritik Jote began agitating at the Central Shaheed Minar at Chasharha in the morning. They also staged a mock hanging of Molla.
Students and teachers of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology demonstrated all day long by taking out processions, holding rallies, forming a human chain and organising cultural programmes.
Protestors in Noakhali were demonstrating from Wednesday night at the Muktijoddha Smriti Phalak in the town expressing solidarity with the movement in the capital.
Indefinite sit-ins also started on Thursday afternoon at Bijay Mancha and in front of Noakhali Press Club over the same demand. Laxmipur
Demonstrators set up ‘Janatar Moncha-71’ (The People’s Platform-71) at the Shaheed Minar in the town around 3pm and organised discussions and cultural programmes until 8pm. Leaders and activists of different social- political and cultural organisations also joined the protest. Bogra
The air in the town’s Saatmatha was filled with slogans the whole day. A large number of people including activists of social and cultural organisations were observing a sit-in there.
Udichi Shilpi Gosthhi, Ekattorer Ghatok-Dalal Nirmul Committee, Muktijoddha Sangsad, Sector Commanders Forum, Muktijoddha-71, Bangladesh Gram Theatre, Bogra units of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote and Khelaghar, different political parties and other organisations expressed solidarity with the protest which began around 10am on Thursday.
Speakers at the programme demanded death sentence for Quader Molla and all suspected war criminals, a ban on politics of Jamaat and Islami Chhatra Shibir, and completion of the trials of the ‘war criminals’ as fast as possible.
bdnews24.com correspondents from Sunamganj, Narail, Jessore, Mymensingh, Gazipur, Khulna, Narsinghdi, Rangamati, Munshiganj, Gaibandha, Sherpur, Bhola, Bagerhat and other districts also reported similar protest programmes attended by people from the broad spectrum of society.