Dhaka: Shahbagh grand rally demands ban on Jamaat

Source: The Daily Star

Protesters from the Shahbagh grand rally on Friday afternoon demanded death penalty for all war criminals including Abdul Quader Mollah and a ban on the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami and Shibir.

Lakhs of protesters demand death penalty to all war criminals including Jamaat leader Quader Mollah at a grand rally in Shahbagh on Friday. Photo: Amran Hossain

“Today we are united on a single demand. We liberated the country in 1971 and today you will liberate it once again from Razakars and Jamaat-Shibir,” Mili Rahman, widow of Bir Sreshtha Matiur Rahman.

“It is the happiest day of my life. I am here to offer my apology to you. I wrote on newspapers that the new generation only clinks on like on facebook and writes on blog sites, but they don’t take to the streets. You have proved me wrong and I thank you all for this,” noted writer Prof Md Zafar Iqbal said in his electrifying speech before thousands of protesters.

Prof. Dr Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, BSMMU VC Prof Pran Gopal Dutta, Dhaka University VC Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique and cultural personality Hasan Imam, among other, spoke at the grand rally.

Earlier, people, regardless of sex, caste and religion, gathered at the intersection to join the grand rally that began around 3:00pm.

While addressing the rally, Hasan Tarek, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, demanded Mollah’s membership cancellation from the Jatiya Press Club.

“Let us start boycotting the Jamaat-e-Islami by canceling his membership from the press club,” he said.

Similar protests have also been reported from different countries including Saudi Arabia, America and the United Kingdom.

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4 replies

  1. This is a big Arab-Spring like movement from the people of Civil society in Bangladesh. I believe this is the first time, a public demand for Jamat-ban has been demanded at this scale.

  2. But there are conflicting news about success.
    1. The Jama’at Islami (JI) is being described in media as the biggest party in Bangladesh. Is it really?
    2. The ruling party (AL) sometime co-operates with JI.

    JI has threatened with civil war in Bangladesh. They must be having some power. How the country meets with that threat is to be seen.

  3. JI traditionally wins a handful of seats in the parliament if I am not mistaken. However, sometimes, the winning party needs to form coalition to form a government. In the case of BNP and AL, both at some point in their past had to form coalition with JI.
    In 2008 elections, out of 300 seats, 38 seats were contested between JI and BNP. BNP yielded 34 of those seats to JI to form 4 party coalition.

    Alliance Party Votes % Seats Change
    Grand Alliance Bangladesh Awami League 33,887,451 49.0% 230 +168
    Jatiya Party 4,867,377 7.0% 27 +16
    Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal 429,773 0.6% 3 +2
    Workers Party of Bangladesh 214,440 0.3% 2 +1
    Liberal Democratic Party 161,372 0.2% 1 ±0
    Four Party Alliance Bangladesh Nationalist Party 22,963,836 33.2% 30 –163
    Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh 3,186,384 4.6% 2 –15
    Bangladesh Jatiya Party-BJP 95,158 0.1% 1 –4
    Islami Oikya Jote – – – –
    Independents and others 3,366,858 4.9% 4 –2
    Total 69,172,649 99.99% 300

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