The party’s Acting Secretary General Rafiqul Islam announced the protest programme in a statement hours after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 handed down the verdict for his crimes against humanity including genocide, murder, rape, arson, loot and persecution in 1971 in his neighbourhood, southern Pirojpur.
The verdict itself came amid a shutdown called by the party that had tried to prevent Bangladesh’s birth and has unleashed a wave or violence in the past three months in a bid to stop the ongoing war crimes trial.
One of its key members, Assistant Secretary General Quader Molla’s life-term imprisonment verdict was also marked by a shutdown on Feb 5 and the following day.
But Molla’s verdict triggered uproar among the hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi youths who took to the street on Feb 5 and are continuing their demand for death penalty of all accused war criminals.
The youths from capital’s Shahbagh vowed to resist the Sunday and Monday shutdown.
In the statement, Jamaat’s Acting Secretary General Khan said the party would enforce the shutdown rejecting the verdict as they felt it was given based on ‘false witnesses.’
They would also protest ‘the police firing’ during their Thursday shutdown when at least 30 people including policemen were killed across Bangladesh.
The statement said the party would also hold ‘special prayers’ after Friday’s Juma prayers.
The jubilant protesters at Shahbagh, however, said they would stick to their pre-scheduled rally at 3pm on Friday at the ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’.
Hundreds of thousands of youths who did not see the war but were imbued with the spirit of the nine-month bloody war in which an estimated three million Bengalis were killed are demanding a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami.
Freedom fighters who expressed solidarity with the Shahbagh movement regard the movement ‘a milestone’ in Bangladesh’s more than 41 years of history as it clearly showed that the spirit of liberation war has been passed on to the generations.
The ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’s spokesperson Imran H Sarker, a blogger, said they dedicated Sayedee’s verdict to the sacrifices of the martyrs.
“We want everyone to come down into the streets to celebrate the occasion that rids the nation of a stigma.”
The party, which was a branch of the then East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, is now facing the heat in Bangladesh, with almost its entire top leadership being tried for alleged war crimes.
Those facing trial include the party’s former chief, its current chief, the secretary general and an Assistant Secretary General. Abudul Quader Molla, the other Assistant Secretary General, has been convicted of the crimes.
The call to ban Jamaat has found a favour with the public and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and several other ministers of the government have supported the call.
But the government is yet to outline how the Jamaat will be outlawed.
However, fierce clashes between Jamaat supporters and police killed at least 30 people including four policemen on Thursday in different districts including Gaibandha, Thakurgaon, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Chittagong and Sylhet.
Police said they tried to turn back rowdy activists to maintain law and order during the Jamaat-sponsored strike.
The three-member ICT-1 was set up on Mar 25, 2010. The tribunal found Sayedee guilty in eight of the 20 charges.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.