Police foil rally, beat up activists
At least six Gonojagoron Mancha activists were injured yesterday afternoon when police charged truncheon on the anti-war criminal campaigners at Shahbagh intersection in the capital.
Police also detained five of the activists -- Joy, Dhiman, Farid, Titu, and Sohag -- from the spot.
The Mancha activists had gathered there to hold a rally protesting, what they claimed, attack on the Mancha supporters by some pro-Awami League men Thursday night.
Yesterday around 4:30pm, when some 20 to 25 activists of the Gonojagoron Mancha were marching towards Shahbagh intersection from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, police chased them towards Aziz Super Market.
When the activists tried to get back to the intersection after some time, the law enforcers charged truncheons on them.
The Mancha was barred from gathering in front of the National Museum at 4:00pm, as at the same time another organisation, Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command, a body of freedom fighters' children, had called a rally there, said Sirajul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Shahbagh police.
Moreover, both the sides did not seek permission for their rallies, added the OC.
Meanwhile, the Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command claimed that it was the Mancha campaigners who had attacked its activists during a scuffle on Thursday night.
Police did not allow Muktijuddho Sangsad Santan Command to hold its rally either when its activists arrived at Shahbagh around 3:00pm. The Santan Command had called the rally protesting assault on their activists Thursday night.
Law enforcers also detained two activists of the organisation, including its president Mehedi Hasan, yesterday afternoon.
Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the Gonojagoron Mancha, meanwhile, alleged that activists of the Santan Command accompanied by Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League men had assaulted Mancha activists Thursday night.
"We have been attacked because we spoke against the lengthy process of the International Crimes Tribunals and against the government decision to take money from Islami Bank for the Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla programme [on March 26]," said Imran.
He added that although the people of the Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command, which is actually comprised of pro-Awami League people, had launched the attack, it was being propagated as an internal feud.
Two other organisations -- Muktijuddho Kendriyo Projonmo Sangsad, and Gourob '71 -- also gathered at Shahbagh yesterday under the banner Gonojagoron Mancher Songothokbrindo.
These organisations later held a press conference at Madhu's Canteen where they alleged that Imran had embezzled money collected from home and abroad, which Imran rejected.
Reading out a written statement, FM Shaheen, general secretary of Gourob '71, alleged that Imran had been using the movement for his ill intensions.
In response, Imran rejected the claims and branded these organisations as pro-AL.