Hartal called for today, Sunday
Appalled by the Supreme Court verdict against Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday called two 24-hour hartals for today and Sunday demanding immediate release of the convict.
The shutdowns will be enforced from 6:00am on both the days.
Jamaat-Shibir activists, like on the previous occasions of verdict delivery in war crimes cases, went berserk in the capital and elsewhere in the country yesterday.
In a joint statement, Jamaat acting ameer Moqbul Ahmed and acting secretary general Shafiqur Rahman declared four-day protest programmes which include offering prayers for Sayedee on Friday and countrywide demonstrations the following day.
The Jamaat said its Nayeb-e-Ameer Sayedee became a “victim of the government's injustice and torture.”
“He [Sayedee] had been deprived of justice as the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court sentenced him imprisonment till death based on a majority decision,” read the statement.
The party called upon its leaders and activists to stage protests democratically and systematically.
The two-day hartal would virtually put the country on a hiatus of four days as there are weekends between the shutdowns.
Jahangirnagar University has postponed its admission tests for honours courses due to the hartals.
So far, two international crimes tribunals have delivered verdicts in war crimes cases against five senior Jamaat leaders, including its former chief Ghulam Azam, for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. The Jamaat enforced hartals after each of the verdicts.
Jamaat-Shibir men unleashed terror in many parts of the country after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 had handed death penalty to Sayedee on February 28 last year. Over 70 people including eight policemen were killed within just a week as armed cadres of Jamaat-Shibir clashed with law enforcers.
Talking to newsmen at the secretariat, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday said everyone should respect the court's verdict.
“If they [Jamaat-Shibir] vandalise cars, hurl petrol bombs and force people not to open shops, the law enforcers will not sit idle. Police will discharge their duties,” he added.
Supporters and activists of Jamaat and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir brought out processions demanding immediate release of war crimes convict Sayedee and clashed with law enforcers across the country yesterday.
Police in the capital detained three Jamaat-Shibir members for vandalising vehicles at Shahjadpur in the afternoon.
Around 200 activists of Jamaat-Shibir brought out a procession in the area around 1:00pm, said Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station.
Law enforcers chased down the three after the demonstrators started throwing brick bats at vehicles on the road, the OC added.
In Rajshahi, Jamaat-Shibir men attacked police simultaneously in five areas of the city while protesting against the SC verdict.
The agitators attacked law enforcers around noon in Katakhali by blasting six crude bombs and throwing brick bats at lawmen. Clashes were also reported in Binodpur, Dingadoba, Daspukur and Shalbagan areas of the city.
Police fired about 100 tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the attackers.
Eighteen Jamaat-Shibir activists were detained during the clashes, said Tanvir Haider Chowdhury, deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
Police in Chapainawabganj foiled a procession of Jamaat-Shibir activists in the town's Nimtala around 2:00pm yesterday.
Witnesses said a chase and counter chase took place between police and Jamaat-Shibir men when they hurled brick bats and cocktails at cops in the area.
In Sylhet, activists of Jamaat-Shibir vandalised at least six CNG-run three-wheelers at Darshan Deuri and Chandipul areas.
They also threw brick bats at an auto-rickshaw which was carrying cops in the city's Housing Estate area around noon. Police picked up two people at the spot, said Md Asaduzzaman, OC of Kotwali Police Station.
Cops in Jhalakathi said they detained nine Shibir men when the youths brought out a brisk procession at Sadhanar Mor in the town.
Police were patrolling key areas in the town to pre-empt violence by Jamaat-Shibir men.
In Pabna, at least 10 people were injured in a clash between cops and Jamaat men in the town.
Witnesses said Pabna district Jamaat brought out a procession after Johr prayers protesting the SC verdict against Sayedee. The clash erupted when the procession reached the traffic intersection.
Police opened fire to disperse the protesters and detained 12 Jamaat-Shibir men.
Our district correspondents report: Law enforcers rounded up at least 100 Jamaat-Shibir activists in different districts since Tuesday night to prevent any anarchy by the party activists.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has asked Jamaat-e-Islami to withdraw the hartals, reports UNB.
The FBCCI in a release yesterday said the protest should be withdrawn as the country now enjoys a business and investment-friendly environment attracting investment from countries including Japan and China.
Our correspondents in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Sylhet, Jhalakathi, and Pabna contributed to this report.