05:56 PM, May 09, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:57 PM, May 09, 2013

SHUTDOWN ON SUNDAY

Jamaat calls hartal as Hefajat withdraws

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Star Online Report

This May 5 photo shows Hefajat-e Islam and Jamat-e-Islami activists beating up a policeman in an alley at Purana Paltan intersection in the capital. Photo: Star

Jamaat-e-Islami has called a daylong countrywide hartal (shutdown) for Sunday protesting death penalty to its assistant secretary general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman for wartime offences.

The call came in less than a couple of hours after Quami madrasa-based Hefajat-e Islam withdrew its call for hartal slated for the same day.

In a press release, Jamaat acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan said on Thursday the verdict was delivered aiming to kill Kamaruzzaman.

The government wanted to eliminate Jamaat from the country, he said adding the people have rejected the verdict which was nothing but a political vendetta.

The Jamaat leader said the judgment is devoid of internationally set principles of law and justice.

Earlier in the day, a tribunal in Dhaka handed death penalty to the Jamaat leader for two offences committed during the country’s 1971 Liberation War.

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 found him guilty of five out of seven charges leveled against him.

HEFAJAT

The group has withdrawn Sunday's hartal it had called to protest the crackdown on its Motijheel rally early Monday.

Hefajat Cultural Secretary Ashraf Ali Nizampuri confirmed the shutdown withdrawal to The Daily Star on Thursday afternoon.

"Our ameer Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi has ordered to call off the hartal to provide treatment to those injured and find out the supporters who went missing during the May 6 government crackdown," said Ashraf.

He said the central committee of the group took the decision around 4:45pm.

In order to ascertain the number of the missing supporters, he said they had issued a letter to their grassroots leaders to prepare a list of the missing activists.

The grassroots leaders have been asked to send the list at the earliest possible time, he added.

Hefajat called for the hartal on Tuesday a day after a joint drive by police, Rapid Action Battalion and Bangladesh Border Guard flushed out its thousands of supporters early Monday.

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