Apparently craving international attention, members of Hefajat-e Islam bring out a procession in the capital's Demra yesterday with an English placard. The procession was to drum up support for their Dhaka long march tomorrow demanding punishment to atheists and bloggers. But how much they know about the bloggers or what they do remain a wonder. Photo: Star
Hefajat-e Islam has again threatened to call for non-stop hartals from Sunday unless 23 pro-liberation organisations called off their 24-hour hartal scheduled to start this evening.
The Islamist organisation had set a deadline for 6:00pm yesterday to call of the hartal, which was declared to resist Hefajat-e Islam's Dhaka long march tomorrow.
But, the 23 organisations stuck to their hartal programme.
Hefajat-e Islam yesterday blamed “the government-backed” organisations of “conspiring” to foil its long march programme to press home its 13-point demand, including arrest and trial of bloggers for “defaming” Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Sources said Hefajat-e Islam from its rally at Shapla Chattar tomorrow is likely to call for the non-stop hartals from Sunday.
Meanwhile, over 100 organisations including Sector Commanders' Forum expressed solidarity with the 24-hour hartal programme. The 23 organisations including Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Prajanma Ekattor and Peshajibi Somonnoy Parishad called the 24-hour hartal yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, the Gonojagoron Mancha, a platform that demands death penalty for all war criminals of 1971 Liberation War, has declared a road, rail and waterway blockade tomorrow to resist Hefajat-e Islam's Dhaka long march programme.
Hefajat secretary Junaed Babunagri and central leader Anas Ansari yesterday threatened the non-stop hartal from Sunday at a press briefing at its headquarters in Lalbagh Madrasa in the capital.
Hefajat Ameer Shah Ahmad Safi was present there.
Earlier, the Islamist organisation said the government would be held responsible if any untoward incidents took place during their Dhaka long march programme.
In a statement the organisation said, “The government is plotting to foil the march with this hasty initiative [the 24-hour hartal] and by planning to send in their party cadres to stop us ... They have even ordered transport owners not to rent out their vehicles to us.
“The Islamic Foundation has also called upon their leaders at different mosques and madrasas to organise rallies across the country to hamper the long march.”
The statement also urged Muslims of the country -- including Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party followers -- to participate in the movement that starts with a rally at the capital's Shapla Chattar around 10:00am tomorrow.
Hefajat-e Islam believes that the bloggers who organise Gonojagoron Mancha are atheists and they indulge in “defaming” Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the Internet, even though the blogs and posts have been there on the Internet long before the Gonojagoron Mancha was formed.
A propaganda labelling Gonojagoron Mancha activists as atheists, allegedly intended to distract people from the ongoing war crimes trials, has seen some success with a number of Islamist groups demanding the bloggers be hanged.