People crowd Shahbagh intersection in the capital with Bangladesh flags for the third day yesterday demanding capital punishment for war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah.Photo: STAR
Thousands continued to pour out onto the streets for the third day yesterday in countrywide demonstrations demanding capital punishment for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah alongside all other war criminals.
Through different programmes people from all walks of life reiterated their vow to keep alive their movement till their demand for death penalty was met.
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-2 on Tuesday sentenced Quader Mollah to life in prison for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Our CU correspondent reports: Students and teachers of Chittagong University brought out processions and organised rallies on the campus and Chittagong city over the demand.
CU unit Bangladesh Chhatra League, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, Udichi, and Gono Nattya Mancha brought out separate processions and joined a rally at the Shahid Minar on CU campus.
They then paraded the city streets before joining other activists staging a sit-in on Chittagong Press Club (CPC) premises in Jamalkhan.
CPC premises was abuzz with slogans, drum beats, patriotic songs and songs of the masses as people gathered spontaneously to express resentment and protest over the verdict, reports our Chittagong correspondent.
In Probortak intersection, students and teachers of Chittagong Medical College Hospital formed a human chain while students from Institute of Fine Arts of CU and Charu Shilpi Kalyan Sangstha gathered at Gol Pahar intersection.
Our JU correspondent reports: Jahangirnagar University (JU) Sangskritik Jote, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front and Bangladesh Chhatra Union brought out processions on the campus and held a rally at JU Central Shaheed Minar premises.
The protesters raised voice against Jamaat-Shibir and vowed to continue movement till the capital punishment demand was met.
Our Sust correspondent reports: Several hundred students, teachers and staff of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) formed a human chain and staged a procession, rally and cultural programmes on their Sylhet campus over the demand.
Addressing the rally, from Chetona '71 to Gol Chattar, Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal said, â€œI was frustrated on the verdict day, but now am so pleased to see the mass uprising of youth.
â€œI, with high hopes, wait for you, the young generation, to give me news that Bangladesh is rid of Razakars...Kasai Quader's V-sign means he won as he himself was expecting a death sentence for killing so many people.â€
Citing a bomb attack by Shibir in a dormitory in 1999, the physics department Head Prof Yasmeen Haque said, â€œThose who got general amnesty after independence always created anarchy while carrying out targeted killings of progressive people.â€
The cultural programmes at Sangskritik Mancha include poetry recitation, Liberation War-based plays and songs of the masses.
Our Sylhet correspondent reports: The ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance organised a rally in Sylhet city protesting vandalism and anarchy by Jamaat-Shibir men for the scrapping of ICTs and release of its top leaders.
People who talk against the ongoing war crimes trial and side with war criminals have no right to live in Bangladesh, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the rally.
AL Presidium Member Mohammad Nasim said people did not accept the verdict and want a fresh death penalty for Quader Mollah.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said the whole nation was astonished at the verdict since it expected Quader Mollah to get five death sentences for five proven charges. â€œThe new generation knows the real history. They want to see a just trial of war criminals.â€
The war crimes trial was no longer an issue of the 14-party alliance but a demand of the masses, said AL Presidium Member Amir Hossain Amu, adding that those who favoured war criminals would face â€œjustâ€ consequences.
Our RU correspondent reports: In Rajshahi University (RU), thousands of teachers, students and staff joined different programmes and expressed dissatisfaction over the verdict.
Progressive Teacher's Society formed a human chain before the Senate Bhaban, Kendrio Sangskritik Jote brought out a procession before the central library while students continued to stage a sit-in at Tukitaki Chattar over the demand.
Our Rajshahi correspondent reports: Rajshahi unit Sammilito Sangskritik Jote and Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee continued a sit-in at Alupotty intersection in Rajshahi city for the death penalty.
People of professions sat together and sang songs of the masses, chanted slogans and staged short plays. Moreover, nearly 100 children began a signature collection campaign over the demand.
The death penalty demand must be made in every public programme to ensure that the united voices are heard by the authorities concerned, stated Nagorik Oikyo Parishad Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna.
The country will not be rid of its stigma unless all war criminals are sentenced to death, he told a programme Sanjukta Sramik Federation organised in the capital's Liberation War Museum to pay homage to veteran journalist and left politician Nirmal Sen, who died recently.
â€œIf Nirmal Sen was alive, he would probably be protesting along with the youngsters in Shahbag demanding the death of war criminal Quader Mollah,â€ he said.