The 27-hour shutdown called by Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee’s port city unit began at 3:00pm yesterday, to press home the demand for banning Jamaat-e-Islami and preventing Hefajat-e Islam’s long march.
A 71-member “Mrittunjoy Squad” staged a peaceful sit-in before the Chittagong City Gate as part of its demonstration.
Several thousand people, irrespective of their political and religious beliefs, joined the sit-in. They chanted pro-liberation and anti-Jamaat-Shibir slogans, demanding a ban on Jamaat-Shibir politics and capital punishment to war criminals.
The sit-in was aimed at preventing Hefajat-e Islam men from joining the long march towards Dhaka, said Showkat Bangalee, assistant organising secretary of the central committee of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.
He added that Hefajat Ameer Shah Ahmad Shafi had been accusing the bloggers of atheism but he had no idea that long march was first called by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse Tung), who was an atheist.
Hefajat-e Islam is actually “Hefajat-e Jamaat,” he said.
Ambulance, eateries, pharmacies, newspaper vehicles, and vehicles carrying the devotees of Maijbhander Darbar Sharif were out of the purview of the hartal.
Freedom fighter Mahfuzur Rahman, Workers’ Party leader Abu Hanif, Prof of Chittagong University Gazi Salehuddin and Ganatantri Party leader Swapan Sen, among others, joined the demonstration.
Meanwhile, the Gonojagoron Mancha in the port city asserted itself yesterday, with hundreds of people gathering and chanting slogans against Jamaat-Shibir and war criminals.
They also protested the long march called by the Hefajat-e Islam.
People from all walks of life started assembling at the Gonojagoron Mancha in front of the Chittagong Press Club since 3:00pm.
Sharif Chouhan, coordinator of the Gonojagoron Mancha, alleged that Hefajat’s programme was aimed at rehabilitating Jamaat-Shibir.