Thousands of people descended on Shahbagh intersection on Friday afternoon grand rally with the chant of ‘Death penalty to all war criminals’, including Abdul Quader Molla, and a ban on the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami.
They also promised to boycott all the commercial establishments and social, cultural and other organisations, including media outlets, educational institutions and coaching centers of the Islamist party.
The pro-liberation activists also pledged to spread the wave of the movement from Teknaf to Tetulia to realise the demands, including cancellation of citizenships of the war criminals.
They took the oath from the massive rally held at the newly named Prajanma Chattar seeking death penalty against the war criminals, including Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
Addressing the rally, Mili Rahman, widow of Bir Sreshtha Matiur Rahman said, "Today we are united on a single demand. We liberated the country in 1971 and today you will liberate it once again from Razakars and Jamaat-Shibir."
"It is the happiest day of my life. I am here to offer my apology to you. I wrote on newspapers that the new generation only clinks on like on facebook and writes on blog sites, but they don't take to the streets. You have proved me wrong and I thank you all for this," noted writer Prof Md Zafar Iqbal said in his electrifying speech before thousands of protesters.
He recalled when no one had dared to utter the word Razakar it was late Humayun Ahmed who did it through a parrot – ‘tui razakar’.
“Seeing your movement Humayun Ahmed is also smiling at heaven,” he added.
While addressing the rally, Hasan Tarek, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, demanded Mollah’s membership cancellation from the Jatiya Press Club.
“Let us start boycotting the Jamaat-e-Islami by canceling his membership from the press club,” he said.
Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique said, “Today is a movement to make the country free from razakars. The country needs to be freed from razakars’ hands. Capital punishment of the razakars is a demand of the country’s 16 crore people.”
Dr Anwar Hossain said the policemen who do not go for action against the terrorist activities of Jamaat should be suspended. “Enact a law and ensure capital punishment of the war criminals at the quickest possible time.”
Hasan Imam said, “I’ve handed over the responsibility to accomplish the unfinished tasks of Shahid Janani Jahanara Imam.”
Prof Anu Muhammad of Jahangir Nagar University said the new generation would not accept the political party having link with Jamaat.
He said the demand is needed to be met immediately and urged the youth to continue their peaceful movement.
Terming the ongoing movement the ‘second War of Liberation’, the speakers said they would not return home until their demands are met. “There’s no basic difference between 1971 and 2013. This is the proof here and the anti-liberation forces will be uprooted.”
They said the movement is a non-partisan one spirited by people, and if any one wants to conspire he or she will be eliminated.
The speakers said the young generation would not vote for Awami League in the next general election if their demands go unheeded.
Sector Commanders’ Forum vice president KM Shafiullah, journalist Kamal Lohani, cultural personality Hasan Imam, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique, Jahangirnagar University VC Dr Anwar Hossain, BSMMU VC Prof Dr Pran Gopal Dutta, Prof Anu Mohammad, Shaon Mahmud , daughter of martyr Altaf Mamud, writer Anisul Haque and leaders of different socio-cultural and youth and student bodies, spoke on the occasion.
The grand rally seeking capital punishment of all the war criminals, including Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, began at Shahbagh intersection, with the playing of national anthem at 3pm. Thousands of protesters stood and sang the national anthem together.
The whole area was being reverberated with slogans like – Hang, Hang, Shawdhin Banglai Razakarder Thai Nai, (There is no place for razakars in independent Bangladesh) Tui Rajakar (You are a razakar), Jamaat-e-Islam- Made in Pakistan, Pakistaner Pretattha- Pakistan e Firey ja (The ghost of Pakistan –Return to Pakistan), Quader Mollah -Nebo Tomar Kolla (Quader Mollah – we’ll behead you). Fasi Hobe Banglay - Mati hobe Pakistan a (You will be hanged in Bangladesh and be buried in Pakistan).
At the end the demonstrators pledged to mount pressure on the government to arrest Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists for committing sedition by threatening to wage a civil war in the country. They also vowed to help the ongoing war crimes tribunal.
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