The rally started with recital of the national anthem on the 11th day of the agitation Friday.
The next course of agitation is expected to be rolled out from the rally.
Earlier, Friday’s protests began a day after millions of people across Bangladesh observed a candlelight vigil Thursday evening in an extraordinary show of solidarity for the Shahbagh movement.
The announcement for the rally came after the programme Thursday.
Previously, people all across the country have showed unprecedented support for the protesters during the Feb 8 grand rally, Feb 12 three-minute silence programme and the candlelight vigil Thursday.
The protests started Feb 5 within hours of the International Crimes Tribunal-2 pronouncing the life-term verdict for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdur Quader Molla. The protesters termed the punishment ‘too light’ compared to Molla’s crimes committed during Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971.
Since then, the demonstrators have been demanding death for the Jamaat Assistant Secretary General and all war criminals charged with the crimes against humanity.
After the candle-light vigil Thursday, one of the organisers, Imran H Chowdhury of Blogger and Online Activist Network, from the main stage said, “One of our demands to amend the (international crimes) tribunal law is set to be fulfilled. We hope the bill will be passed Sunday. This is our first victory.”
He also pledged to continue with the movement until their all demands were met, including the one calling for a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami’s politics.
Meanwhile, the protesters at the ‘Projonmo Chattar’ passed another sleepless night Thursday with songs, poems and tireless chants of slogans.
Friday’s programmes began 6:15am with the protesters reciting the national anthem as they took oath of not to budge from their goal.
Since a handful of protesters of the Bloggers and Online Activists Network began a demonstration at Shahbagh intersection Feb 5 protesting the ICT-2 verdict, the protest has taken the shape of a people’s movement as the days went by.
The movement spread all over the country in demand of death to all war criminals.
The protesters at the capital’s Shahbagh have been there for the last 10 days to press for their demands. The movement has struck a popular chord with almost everyone in the country and with the Bangladeshi diaspora.
Meanwhile, the International Crimes (Tribunals) (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was placed in Parliament Wednesday with a provision to allow both prosecution and defence to appeal against inadequate sentences and orders of acquittal against 1971 war criminals to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
The House is expected to pass the bill Sunday.
Earlier, Awami League Presidium member Abul Latif Siddiqui had also said that a bill was being placed before Parliament to outlaw the Jamaat-e-Islami as demanded by the protesters at Shahbagh.bdnews24.com