12:00 AM, February 11, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 11, 2013

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PM hails Shahbagh youths; vows to help keep their oath; hopes to see people's expectation met in war crimes verdict

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Staff Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday thanked the youths for raising voice against the 1971 war criminals, and said her government would translate into action the oath thousands of protesters took at the Shahbagh grand rally on Friday.
Speaking in parliament, Hasina said the tribunals would deliver judgments according to the law, but they should consider the people's expectations while giving verdicts on war crimes cases.
“I am making this call to them [the judges] through parliament,” said Hasina, also the leader of the House.
The prime minister expressed solidarity with the six-point demand that the Shahbagh protesters submitted to the Speaker yesterday afternoon.
Speaker Abdul Hamid said he forwarded the charter of demands to the premier, and the law and home ministers for taking necessary steps.
He said the House expressed solidarity with the demonstrations at Shahbagh and elsewhere demanding capital punishment to war criminals.
Participating in a nearly three-hour discussion, Hasina vowed to make sure that the war criminals are tried.
“I heard them take the oath, and its every word is justified. We will do whatever is necessary to honour their oath. It is our commitment,” she said.
At Friday's grand rally, thousands of people took an oath that they will continue their movement until capital punishment is handed down on the members of Razakar and Al-Badr, who committed crimes against humanity like genocide and rape in 1971.
A group representing the protesters submitted to the Speaker the six-point demand that includes death penalty for Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah and all war criminals, revoking state power to grant general amnesty to the persons convicted by the tribunals, amending the law to provide scope for appeal against inadequate punishment and imposing a ban on Jamaat and religion-based politics.
The prime minister said her government would take steps to close loopholes in the related law if there is any.
“We all should create an atmosphere conducive for holding a fair trial of war criminals and implementation of the verdicts.”
Hasina lauded the youths for staging unprecedented demonstrations in Shahbagh and elsewhere in the country, and said the Shahbagh intersection should be named “swadhinatar torun projonmo square”.
She urged the youths to continue the movement side by side with their studies.
Hasina said the youths have proved that there is no place for war criminals in Bangladesh, and that they will take forward the country in the spirit of the Liberation War.
“I will die in peace knowing that the war criminals will have no place in Bangladesh,” she said.
A total of 33 lawmakers took part in the discussion in parliament.

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