The Shahbagh protest has found resonance among Bangladeshi students in America where they staged demonstrations demanding death penalty for the killers and collaborators of 1971.
Students studying in the University of Texas at Arlington gathered
in front of their Central Library to express solidarity with the Shahbagh
The Bangladesh Students Organisation held the rally Thursday
in which over 50 students, mostly post-graduate and Ph.D students,
They carried placards in Bangla that read “We are also with you,
Shahbagh”, “Tui Razakar” (you are a war criminal) and “We want death sentence
for war criminals”.
The Shahbagh protests, which began with a small
gathering Tuesday within hours of the war crimes tribunal sentencing
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla to life-term in prison, continued for
the fifth day in a row Saturday.
The protestors believe the court handed
down ‘too little’ punishment to Molla and are demanding death sentence for him.
Molla was found guilty in five cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity
filed against him.
The protest was so infectious that it soon engulfed
Tens of thousands of people forgetting their caste, and
professional and political identities in a grand rally Friday chanted for ‘Death
penalty to all war criminals’ and ban on the politics of
The Jamaat had opposed Bangladesh's independence from
Pakistan in 1971.
The party had sided with Pakistani troops during the
war when officially three million people were killed. The Islamist party
allegedly masterminded killings of the country's leading intellectuals including
professors, doctors and journalists.
The current government led by the
Awami League set up special tribunal to try the war