Jamaat has plan of its own
It will be all hands on deck for Jamaat and Shibir today with the organisations calling in support from nearby districts to the capital to back BNP in today's opposition rally.
Sources said pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir also has plans for taking over dormitories of several educational institutions that are now dominated by pro-ruling party Chhatra League.
The educational institutions include public universities like Rajshahi, Jagannath, Sylhet, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar. As per the plan, leaders and activists of Shibir have gathered in student messes near those universities for the assault today. Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the pro-BNP student body, would back the Shibir activists, sources claimed.
Jamaat and Shibir also plan to stage anti-government demonstrations in their stronghold districts.
Jamaat-e-Islami insiders told The Daily Star that although Jamaat-Shibir men have made all-out preparations for a showdown in the capital today, they would follow BNP men's lead to avoid getting arrested.
A top leader in the BNP-led 18-party alliance said Jamaat and Shibir had been instructed to bring in all its leaders and activists from Narayanganj, Narsingdi, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Gazipur, Tongi, Keraniganj and Dohar to the capital by yesterday to ensure a large rally.
A Shibir activist told The Daily Star, “To ensure a large rally, Jamaat and Shibir have cancelled leaves of almost all its grassroots leaders and activists. The party even directed its leaders, who spent Eid holidays outside Dhaka, to return to the capital within a day or two after Eid.”
The Shibir activist, who talked to The Daily Star, had to return from his home in Khulna early to prepare for the rally.
Alongside Jamaat, Islamic parties including Islami Oikya Jote, Khelafat Majlish, Jamiyat-e Ulamaye Islam had also been asked to show up at the rally in full strength, sources in the 18-party alliance said.
Law enforcers fear that crisis-riddled Jamaat, which has most of its top leaders in jail in connection with crimes against humanity, will try to create anarchy in the capital and elsewhere to spread panic.
The law enforcers would be taking extra precautionary measures centring the rally today, like deployment of Border Guard Bangladesh personnel, and beefing up reconnaissance and surveillance measures in the capital.
Jamaat, a key component in the opposition 18-party alliance, would also stage anti-government demonstrations in its stronghold districts, including Dinajpur, Bogra, Satkhira and Rajshahi, party grassroots sources said.
Talking to The Daily Star, a number of Jamaat leaders of district units said they had been asked by Jamaat central to stage a strong demonstration in their areas taking BNP and other Islamist parties with them.
“Since February 28, we have been waging demonstrations alone. But from tomorrow [today] you will see us staging stronger demonstrations to oust the government,” Secretary Mahfuzur Rahman of Khulna city Jamaat said at an 18-party meeting in Khulna.