After 42 days, the Shahbagh protesters yesterday once again occupied the Shahbagh intersection through staging a sit-in as part of their 22-hour countrywide blockade.
The protesters, who have been demanding capital punishment to war criminals, enforced the road, rail and waterway blockade from 6:00pm to counter Hefajat-e Islam's long march.
Meanwhile, the 24-hour countrywide hartal called by 23 pro-liberation organisations also began at 6:00pm yesterday. Organisers staged sit-ins at 20 points of the capital to prevent Hefajat men from entering the capital.
The Shahbagh protesters also took position at five entry points of the capital, making temporary Gonojagoron Manchas to enforce their blockade and resist vehicles carrying Hefajat-e Islam activists.
The five points are Sadarghat Launch Terminal, Jatrabari Crossing, Ashulia, Tongi Crossing and Kamalapur Railway Station.
People from all walks of life and different organisations joined the sit-ins, where protesters chanted slogans demanding capital punishment to war criminals and a ban on Jamaat.
"Protesters will continue their sit-in till 4:00pm tomorrow [today]," said Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the Shahbagh movement, at a press conference in the evening.
"We will visit Sadarghat and Abdullahpur Manchas first and then go to the rest in phases," said Maruf Rosul, one of the key organisers of the movement.
Earlier in the afternoon, several hundred protesters took to the Shahbagh intersection, chanting slogans such as "We will rid the country of Jamaat-Shibir and anti-liberation forces."
The number of protesters swelled as the night grew.
The protesters will hold a public rally at Shahbagh at 5:00pm today, said Imran, who called upon all to make the rally a success.
Protesters had kept the Shahbagh intersection occupied round the clock till February 21 ever since the movement began on February 5, demanding capital punishment to war criminals.
The occupation ended on February 21, when the organisers announced they would take the movement to different parts of Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
Twenty-three pro-liberation organisations, including Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee and Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, brought out torch processions from several points of the capital and staged sit-ins at 20 points.
The sit-ins took place at Gabtoli, Shahbagh, Matsya Bhaban, Paltan, Shantinagar, Nurhossian Square, Bangabandhu Avenue and Dhupkhola, among other places, to enforce the hartal.
Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, president of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, said 102 other organisations joined the sit-ins in support of the shutdown.