Friday, April 19, 2024

Protesters vow not to leave streets

Bid farewell to Rajib
People joined the Shahbagh protests sporting black badges on Saturday to bid farewell to blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, who had been actively involved in the protests before being killed by assailants on Friday night.
Protesters, with the coffin of Rajib wrapped in the national flag in the protest venue, vowed not to leave the streets to push for their demand for death penalty for all war criminals..
Unnamed assailants hacked to death Rajib near his house at Palashnagar of Mirpur in Dhaka on Friday night.
The police said that Rajib, hacked in the face and throat, was found dead about 9:30pm in a dark place.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, meanwhile, visited Rajib’s family at Palashnagar in the afternoon where she said that the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir had no right to do politics in Bangladesh.
Hasina sought people’s cooperation to save Bangladesh from Jamaat and urged people to stand by Shahbagh protesters.
The government has taken all-out measures to ensure security for Shahbagh protesters, she told reporters later.
People, irrespective of age, faith and party affiliation, thronged Shahbagh to attend the namaz-e-janaza of Rajib, on the 12th consecutive day of protests on Saturday. The namaz-e-janaza was held about 6:00pm
The youths started their protests on February 5 afternoon after International Crimes Tribunal 2 convicted Jamaat-e-islami assistant secretary general Quader Molla to life in prison. Protesters were demanding death penalty for Quader Molla.
Blogger Imran H Sarker termed Rajib a new generation freedom fighter. ‘We vow by touch the coffin of Rajib that we will not leave the streets until Rajib’s killers and war criminals are convicted to death penalty.’
Rajib’s uncle Alam said that the dead body did not belong to any party and urged all not to leave the streets until justice was meted out.
Protestors said that the body would be kept in a mortuary for the night. He would be buried in their village home at Kapasia in Gazipur on Sunday.
Immediately after the funeral rites, Shabagh protesters raised their hands breaking the silence shouting ‘Jay Bangla, Jay Bangla.’ Other slogans demanding justice for the killing followed.
Earlier at daybreak, protesters started the day’s programme singing the national anthem and observing a minute’s silence paying respect to Rajib.
They shouted slogans such as ‘Shaheed Rajib er rakta amader dhamanite (Martyred Rajib’s blood flows in our vein)’ and ‘Ar nay pratirodh, ebar habe pratishodh (No more resistance, it’s time for revenge).’
People also shouted ‘Shaheed Rajib er dabi, razakar er phansi (Death penalty for collaborators was the demand of martyred Rajib), ‘Shaheed Rajiber rakta britha jete debo na’ (Blood of Rajib will not go in vain) and ‘Razakarer hale phansi, sabar mukhe phutbe hashi’ (Everyone will smile if collaborators are hanged).
A group of band artistes including members of Miles, Feedback, Souls and Artcell expressed their solidarity with the protests and sang war songs. Fakir Alamgir and Mahmud Selim sang patriotic songs.
FBCCI, BGMEA and BKMEA leaders and actor ATM Shamsuzzaman also joined in. A large number of people with physical disabilities also attended.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh in the evening joined the protests.
The protesters urged all students to join the programme of hoisting the national flag and singing the national anthem in all educational institutions, including mardassahs, at 10:00am today.
Protestors by the 12th day of protests have covered almost all giant hoardings with banners, set up banners on top of the buildings round the crossing.
They also hung several giant banners coming down from roofs of BSMMU and BIRDEM hospitals. Banners also covered all the walls in the area, with slogans such as ‘Amara bari jachchhi ba, kono beiman ke chharchhina’ (We are not going home. No traitors will be spared).
A banner sporting caricatures of war criminals says: ‘History never lies… hang them all’ and ‘Amra amader baba-mayer hathyakarider phansi chai (We want death penalty for killers of our parents).’
Many banners have portraits of Jahanara Imam, who led a people’s court trying war criminals in 1992, with demands ‘Execute the verdict of the people’s court, hang all war criminals including Quader Molla.’
Many individuals also brought placards with popular slogans such as ‘Phansi, phansi, phansi chai – Quader Mollar phansi chai’ (Hang Quader Molla), ‘Ka te Quader Molla, tui razakar (Ka for Quader Molla, you are a collaborator),’ ‘Ga te Ghulam Azam, tui razakar’ (Ga for Ghulam Azam, you are a collaborator)’ and ‘Kandte asini phansir dabi niye esechhi (We have not come here to cry. We want them to be hanged).’
Local people have, meanwhile, gathered between Mirpur Section 10 and 12, blocking the road in protest at Rajib’s killing. Many schoolchildren took plart in the blockade.

Courtesy of New Age

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