The Shahbagh demonstrators, calling for death to convicted war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, say they will not be deterred by threats to life and enforced disappearances.
Addressing a rally at
Dhaka’s Uttara on Sunday, they also asked the government to take adequate
measures tp ensure their safety.
They made the call 24 hours into the
murder of Ahmed Miraz, the younger brother of lyricist Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, a
witness against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam in the ongoing war
Bulbul had testified against Azam on Oct 5 last year as the
14th prosecution witness at the International Crimes Tribunal -1.
see that those who are speaking against the war criminals are being killed or
attacked,” Imran H Sarker, the spokesperson for the Ganajagan Mancha,
“We said it before and are saying it again, the state must ensure
security for each of the demonstrators,” he added.
recovered the body of Miraz from the east of the Khilkhet-Kuril Flyover at
around 1am on Sunday. Doctors said Miraz was gagged to death.
Ahmed Rajib Haider was found murdered on Feb 15, 10 days after the Shahbagh
protest kicked off.
The body of Tanvir Rahman Twaki, son of Narayanganj
district Ganajagaran Mancha unit organiser and cultural activist Rafiur Rabbi,
was fished out from the Shitalakkhya river on Friday, two days after he had gone
Wahidul Alam Junu, who had deposed on Feb 12 as the 19th witness
against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, also died mysteriously in
Pasha Chowdhury and Saniur Rahman, both associated with the
movement at Shahbagh, also came under attacks recently.
Mancha will travel to Chittagong on Mar 13 to hold their first-ever programme
outside the capital amid a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by the Hefajat-e-Islami
Imran, on Sunday said, “The demonstration will not be tamed
through shutdowns, murders or enforced disappearances. I will stage the rally on
that day at any rate.”
Speaking at the rally, Bappaditya Basu, the
President of Bangladesh Chhatra Maitri, said,“We have lost many of our comrades
through the 34 days of our demonstration.”
“The Jamaat and Shibir have
started mayhem at a time when the Shahbagh movement spread across whole of
Bangladesh,” he said. “The movement will not be quelled by violence.”
student leader also said the Jamaat and its collaborators will have to take the
responsibility for any unpleasant situation on that day.
He urged the
people to take up sticks and remain alert against violence by anti-liberation
force. “Beat and handed over to police the Jamaat, Shibir men who will be
Bangladesh Chhatra League General Secretary Siddque
Nazmul Alam said: “None of us is safe in this situation. Keep vigil and be ready
with bamboo sticks. (We have) to resist the Razakar cartel.”
Chhatra Union President SM Shuvo demanded arrest of the Jamaat acting Secretary
General and the Shibir President and General Secretary.
rally kicked off with the singing of national anthem around 3pm at Uttra’s
Sector 11 intersection area. Thousands of students began to throng the area from
Samajtantrik Chhatra Front General Secretary Mehedi Hassan Tomal,
Chhatra Federation Office Secrery Sabina Rahman, Bangladesh Chhatra Samiti
Convener Saidur Rahman Khan, Biplobi Chhatra Moitri leader Meer Rezaul Alam,
Chhatra Andalon Convener Monjurul Ahsan Mithu and JSD Chhatra League General
Secretary Shamsul Islam Sumon, among others, addressed the rally.
educational institutions, professional bodies and rights and socio-cultural
organisations expressed solidarity with the protesters. They include Shaheed
Mansur Ali Medical College, Govt Titumir College, Habibullah Model School and
College, Dhaka Women’s College, North South University, Kamarparha School and
College, Turag Thana Nogorik Hitoishi Committee, Post-graduate Doctors’
Association, Trade Union Kendra, Prajamna 71 and Uttara Socheton Jubo
Security was ramped up by a few notches in the area following the
bomb attack on the Ganajagaran rally at Shagbagh on Mar 8. Members of the
security agencies kept a vigil eye on the rally from the rooftops of the nearby
Shahbagh came under spotlight on Feb 5 when a few youths, led
by Blogger and Online Activist Network, sat at the intersection protesting what
they called ‘lenient sentence’ of life sentence to war crimes convict Abdul
Quader Molla, also the Jamaat Assistant Secretary General.
drew support from people of all walks of life spreading across the country, with
the ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’ replicated in different districts and
The demonstrators also held seven rallies in different parts
of Dhaka with the last one taking place on Friday.