03:25 AM, March 30, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:25 AM, March 30, 2013

Rumi Squad continues fast unto death

One falls sick

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DU Correspondent

A protester of the Shaheed Rumi Squad was hospitalised after he fell sick yesterday, as the protesters of the squad continued their "fast unto death” for the third straight day.
Manik Sutradhar, who started the hunger strike on Tuesday night, fainted yesterday afternoon. The 27-year-old was taken to Birdem Hospital for treatment, said Senjuti Shonima Nadi, a spokesperson for the squad.
On Tuesday, the protesters began their programme in front of the National Museum, protesting the "inadequate government action" to initiate the process of banning Jamaat by March 26 as per an ultimatum of the Shahbagh protesters.
Initially, the number of people on hunger strike was seven, but it rose to 19 yesterday. They demand immediate and effective steps to ban Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.
In the early hours of today, about 35 more people from different socio-cultural organisations joined them. They will continue their hunger strike till midnight today, said Deepak Suman, convener of Gonojagoron Sangskriti Mancha.
So far, more than 100 organisations expressed solidarity with the squad's strike, said Nadi.
Meanwhile, people from different walks of life participated in a two-hour token hunger strike yesterday afternoon expressing solidarity with Shaheed Rumi Squad.
The protesters observed a candlelight vigil lighting 62 candles to celebrate Shaheed Rumi's 62th birthday in the evening.
Noted educationist Muhammed Zafar Iqbal inaugurated the programme.
Addressing the youth, he said,”Rumi worked to build a new Bangladesh, and he was my classmate. You really make me proud as you are working for a new Bangladesh."
Shafi Imam Rumi, the eldest son of Shaheed Jahanara Imam, was born on March 29, 1951. He was a guerrilla fighter of the Liberation War and sacrificed his life in 1971 war.
Meanwhile, the Shahbagh movement organisers said they would submit a petition in favour of their six-point demand to parliament Speaker on Sunday.
Maruf Rosul, one of the organisers, said they counted 48 lakh signatures on the petition as of yesterday.
Of them, over 17 lakh signatures were collected in Dhaka, he said, adding that counting was still going on.

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