Call to stand up for gallows to war criminals
Published: 2013-02-11 13:02:08.0 BdST Updated: 2013-02-11 19:12:05.0 BdST
The protesters at Shahbagh have called upon all Bangladeshis to stand up for three minutes at 4pm Tuesday to push for the execution of all war criminals.
The announcement came from the "Rejuvenation Platform", the main stage of protest that turned seven-day-old on Monday.
“No matter where you are, please stand up for three minutes at 4pm Tuesday. This is to press for death to war criminals,” one of the main organiser of the protest, Blogger Imran H Sarker, said.
Thousands of demonstrators welcomed the unique gesture of solidarity with a thunderous applause.
Amid undying campaign demanding death penalty for the killers and collaborators of 1971, the parliament and its leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed solidarity with the rally cry on Sudnay.
Last week, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced Abdul Quader Molla to life in prison, but protests erupted in Dhaka and elsewhere, as some felt the punishment was ‘too late, too little’. But the present law does not provide for appeal for higher sentence.
The Cabinet Monday also approved a draft amendment to the International Crimes Tribunal Act, which if approved by parliament, will allow both defence and prosecution “equal rights” for appeal after conviction.
Sarker described the move, made in wake of the movement, as “the initial victory” of the protests.
He also called upon everyone to remain vigil so that they did not fall prey to any propaganda.
Earlier in the day, among thousands of people, 1952 Language Movement veteran Abdul Matin went to Shagbagh and echoed the demand of the protestors.
“I am overwhelmed. This is really extraordinary. I have never seen such a movement,” he said.
He reminisced about the 1952 Language Movement and urged the youngsters not to halt their agitation unless their demands were met.
Addressing the protestors, he said,” We have been shedding blood for a non-communal state since the British rule. The uprising at Shahbagh has united the whole nation.”
“We, the language soldiers, are with you,” he said.
The demonstrators started the protest on February 5 hours after ICT-2 sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison for war crimes.
Like other days, tens of thousands of people thronged and repeated their demand around Shahbagh as enthusiastically as before for the seventh straight day Monday.
Thousands of school and college students also joined the protests.
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