Thousands join Shahbagh sit-in

Source: The Daily Star

By Sushmita S Preetha

Forty-two years after the Liberation War, sentiments of liberation were rekindled as thousands yesterday refused to leave the street and go home until their demand for capital punishment for war criminals were met.

The spontaneous agitation began on Tuesday afternoon shortly after a tribunal gave life sentence to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, and continued throughout the night. The occupation of Shahbagh intersection, initiated by bloggers and activist network went on all day yesterday, with the number of people escalating as the day wore on.

The spirit of the protest spread to other parts of the country, with sit-ins and demonstrations taking place in Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Barisal, Rajbari, Noakhali and Narsingdi.

In the capital’s Shahbagh, different political parties and their student wings joined the rally that began as a people’s movement. The parties include the ruling Awami League, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and Ganotantrik Bam Morcha.

However, nobody from the main opposition BNP and its student wing, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, was seen in the rally.

The spirit in Shahbagh was infectious as people broke out in chants of “Tui Razakar” (you’re a war criminal) and sang gono shongeet (mass song) in unison.

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1 reply

  1. The sit-ins represented major political parties minus BNP who formed the last opposition government by Mrs Khaleda Zia with Jamat e Islami. Notably absent was also JCD, the Student wing of BNP. Overwhelming public opinion in favor of these trials and demand for harsher punishment is a testament to the desire of Bangladesh to heal old wounds and turn a chapter in its history.

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