Shahbagh protesters unveil new plans

The protesters at the Prajanma Chattar on Tuesday rolled out fresh demonstration plans on the Independence Day after the government sat on their deadline to start the process of banning Jamaat-e-Islami.Many felt the demonstration plans were ‘flexible’ and demanded tougher ones.
Tuesday’s rally was held as the demonstrators’ deadline to the government to start the process of outlawing the Jamaat as a political party ended.
The Ganajagaran Manch spokesperson, Imran H Sarker, announced fresh demonstration plans in presence of thousands of people. The demonstrators will take out a protest procession and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister on Apr 4 for outlawing the Jamaat as a political party for its war crimes.
As Sarker was making the announcement, a section of the gathering were chanting slogans demanding a ‘siege’. It was quite a task for the organisers to rein in the situation. The dissenting section also took out a procession after the rally ended demanding a ‘siege’ programme.
The demonstrators will also take out a procession in the capital on the same day and supporters of the movement in districts will sumbit memorandum to the Prime Minister through Deputy Commissioners.
Addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Manch spokesman said, “You too will concur with this demand. Please do not avoid the demand to ensure maximum penalty for the [convicted] war criminals and banning the Jamaat and Shibir.”
In an address delivered in Parliament last month, Hasina had supported the Mancha’s six-point charter of demand.
Sarker said “Although we had received positive responses in favour of our main demands (highest punishment for war criminals and banning the Jamaat), there’s no sign of initiating process to implement them.”
The platform’s spokesperson on Tuesday announced a rally at Shahbagh on Apr 6.
Other protest plans include marching towards Parliament on Mar 31 at 11am to present the Speaker with the signatures collected through the countrywide mass signature campaign in support of the Manch’s six-point demand.
A cultural programme will be held at the Prajanma Chattar at 4pm on Apr 5. The following day, an agitation rally will be held there.
“Our non-violent programme will continue until our ends are achieved,” Sarker said and vowed to spread the six-point demand.
He criticised the anti-Shahbagh propaganda and urged the government to take necessary measures.
Before he started addressing the rally, Sarker, handed over ‘Mangal Pradip’ to the freedom fighters gathered there on behalf of the Manch. Earlier, the freedom fighters had handed over national flags to 42 young demonstrators on the occasion of the 42nd independence anniversary.
This was the first Ganajagaran Mancha rally after Feb 21. The previous rally set a Mar 26 deadline to begin actions to ban Jamaat. Attendance was thin at the rally stretching from Shahbagh intersection to Charukola or the Institute of Fine Arts.
On Feb 5, several bloggers took to the streets in Dhaka protesting the ‘lenient’ life sentence of Jamaat’s Assistant Secretary General Molla. The demonstrators eventually demanded maximum penalty for all convicted war criminals and banning the Jamaat.

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