Thursday 24th Jan 2019
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A nationwide strike on 31 January to protest the 1971 war crimes trials in Bangladesh left four persons belonging to Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI) and its students wing Islami Chhatra Shibir dead and several others injured. Jamaat-e-Islami had called a peaceful half-day shutdown in the capital Dhaka and southeastern port city of Chittagong and day-long strike elsewhere in Bangladesh demanding release of their top leaders including incumbent party chief Matiur Rahman Nizami. The general strike was backed by main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

In Bogra, Awami League, Chhatra League and Jubo League activists with police support brutally killed Islami Chhatra Shibir Government Azizul Haque College’s Old Bhaban unit president Abu Ruhani, and Jamaat activist Mizanur Rahman. Protesting the killings, when Jamaat-Shibir men brought out a procession in the afternoon, Chhatra League, Jubo League and police again jointly attacked. Thereafter in the evening, police sprayed bullets at a Shibir mess, leaving two more Shibir activists killed and 27 others injured. Of them, nine activists’ condition is reported as critical.

The BJI on 2 February announced countrywide demonstration on 4 February to protest brutal killing of four Jamaat-Shibir men by Awami League, Jubo League and Chhatra League with support of police, and reversely filing cases against over 3,000 Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists and mass-arrest. The 4 February demonstration is also aimed to protest the plot of delivering ‘death sentence’ verdict in Abdul Quader Mollah case in the controversial war crimes tribunal as per the government blueprint. Announcing the protest programme, Jamaat assistant secretary general Maulana Rafiqul Islam Khan said ‘the government has filed false cases against thousands of Jamaat-Shibir men instead of booking the guilty miscreants’.

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