Jamaat calls another shutdown for Tuesday

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday called another daylong countrywide hartal for Tuesday protesting the arrest of its leader AKM Yusuf on charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971. In a statement, Jamaat acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan said, “We announce a countrywide dawn-to-dusk shutdown programme for Tuesday in protest against the arrest of Jamaat nayeb-e-ameer AKM Yusuf in a false case for so-called crimes against humanity.”
Earlier in the day, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 sent Yusuf, founder of notorious Razakar outfit, to Dhaka Central Jail keeping his bail petition pending.
Yusuf, now 84, was arrested from his Dhanmondi residence at 12.45 pm, hours after the tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes.
In the statement, Rafiqul Islam Khan said the government brought the false allegation of crimes against humanity against Yusuf only to take its political revenge.
Meanwhile, Jamaat also enforced a nationwide hartal on Sunday protesting the death sentence to its leader M Kamaruzzaman by the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
The hartal ended at 6pm amid little response. Rafiqul Islam Khan, however, claimed that the country’s people through spontaneously observing the hartal have proved that punishment given by the International Crimes Tribunal-2 against M Kamaruzzaman was biased.
Meanwhile, the daylong nationwide hartal, enforced yesterday by Jamaat-e-Islami protesting the death sentence to its leader M Kamaruzzaman by the International Crimes Tribunal-2, was by and large peaceful.
No major incident of violence was reported from anywhere during the hartal hours. Pickets were hardly seen on the streets in support of the shutdown.
Though educational institutions remained closed in capital Dhaka, government and non-government offices were open with thin attendance. Apart from some BRTC buses and other services, vehicular movement in the capital was relatively less, allowing rickshaws and auto-rickshaws to dominate the streets.
Members of law enforcement agencies patrolled the city streets to maintain the law and order.
Two crude bombs were exploded by hartal supporters in Bijoy Sarani area around 6am.
Hartal activists burned a tyre and brought out a procession in Rayerbagh area of Shanir Akhra under Jatrabari Police Station around 6:10am. Police fired seven blank shots to disperse them.
Police arrested two pickets from Mir Hajirbagh at Jatrabari areas as they set a pickup on fire around 6:15am.
Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the associate student body of Jamaat, brought out separate processions in Pallabi and Bakshibazar areas around 6:30am.
Shibir activists also brought out a procession from in front of Mirpur Bangla College around 6:30am only to be dispersed by police.
Meanwhile, a hand grenade-like object was recovered from Dainik Bangla intersection in the city around 8am. On information, a bomb disposal unit of the Detective Branch (DB) of police went to the spot and defused it at about 9am.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Sanwar Hossain of DB (Bomb Disposal) told UNB that whether the object was grenade could be ensured only after test in laboratory.
In Naryanganj, Shibir activists set a bus on fire at about 11 am near DC office in Chanmari area of the city. They also brought out a surprise procession at Dhaka-Naryangani link road and burned tyres there.
In Natore, activists of Jamaat-Shibir blocked the Natore-Dhaka Highway torching tyres in Harishpur area of the district town in the morning. In Sylhet, Jamaat activists blasted 4-5 crude bombs in Shahi Eidgah area of the city while bringing out a procession in the morning and left the place before police appeared in the spot.
On the other hand, Shibir activists brought out a sudden procession from Ambarkhana area of the city around 6:00am and blocked Sylhet-Sunamganj road setting fire to tyres in Darshan Dewri area at the same time. They also exploded several crude bombs in the area.
In Comilla, pro-hartal activists torched a Chittagong-bound covered van in Chouddagram upazila on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in the morning.
The ICT-2 in a verdict on Thursday condemned M Kamaruzzaman to death for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War 42 years back.
In a statement on Thursday, Jamaat acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan announced the shutdown programme, claiming that the verdict was delivered with a view to annihilating Jamaat and killing its leaders. UNB

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