Cops foil left parties' procession
Police yesterday foiled the march of 11 left parties, most of them components of the Awami League-led grand alliance, towards Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban demanding removal of Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim and Islam as state religion from the constitution.
At least five people were injured when police baton charged the agitators before the National Museum at Shahbagh in the capital while a photojournalist of the Bangla daily Ittefaq, Sohel Reza, was wounded when bricks thrown by the demonstrators towards the police hit him.
The other injured are Khan Asaduzzaman Masum, Kazi Sajjad Jahir Chandon, Abul Kalam Azad, Alamin Mahadi and Jilani Shuvo.
Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Samajtantrik Dal of Bangladesh, Samyabadi Dal of Bangladesh, National Awami Party, Ganatantri Party, Ganatantrik Majdur Party and Gono Azadi League -- at least seven of them grand alliance components -- organised the march.
Different associated bodies of the 11 parties and Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti and Jatiya Adibashi Parishad also joined the protest march.
As the marchers arrived in front of the museum from Central Shaheed Minar, police put barricade and asked them to leave. When they tried to push through the cordon, police charged baton on the demonstrators who responded with brickbats. The demonstrators also fought a running battle with the law enforcers.
Later, leaders of the 11 parties held a protest rally demanding scrapping of the constitutional provision for allowing religion-based politics and Islam as state religion. They also threatened to wage a tougher movement to press home their demands.
They announced to hold a grand rally on July 9 at the Shaheed Minar protesting the police action on their march and demanding implementation of their demands.
Addressing the rally, Communist Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim said the government has legalised the provisions incorporated by Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad by retaining Bismillah and Islam in the constitution. “Sheikh Hasina will be condemned as Zia and Ershad have been.”
Kamal Lohani and Comrade Khalequzzaman also spoke at the rally attended by senior leaders of the 11 parties.