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    Posted February 7, 2013 by
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

    We want war criminal KADER MOLLA to be hanged till death !

    The 1971 spirit revives again, eventually as verdict sparks street demonstrations in the capital; protesters demand death penalty of criminal Abdul Quader Mollah and other war crime suspects. Flame of protest burns everywhere Demonstrators hang effigies of war crime suspects including Mollah. The Arab Spring sought democracy, but in Bangladesh, the advent of spring is stuffed with cries for justice. The city’s Shahbagh intersection turned into a human sea as the sit-in gained impetus with the impulsive involvement of thousands of people from all walks of life on Thursday.

    Dhaka’s Shahbagh intersection now seems to be emerging as the spine of the storm that may flounce across Bangladesh to ask for justice that judges and courts may fall short to ensure.

    Gathering of people from all walks of life at Shahbagh intersection in the capital and their sit-in there to raise voice for capital punishment of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah entered the third consecutive day on Thursday.

    People kept thronging in a large number there since morning as per the declaration on the previous day to hold a rally.

    “Hang Quader, or me” written placard was seen at the movement Thursday morning at Shahabag Square.

    Hundreds of students from different educational institutions including Dhaka University thronged the venue with these placards.

    The mass protest at Shahbagh demanding a death sentence for Jamaat-e-Islami’s Abdul Quader Molla is being staged through ‘mutual understandings’, BNP’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal said on Thursday.

    The mass protest at Shahbag demanding a death sentence for Jamaat-e-Islami’s Abdul Quader Molla is being staged through ‘mutual understandings’, BNP’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal said on Thursday.

    Chhatra Dal President Aabdul Kader Bhuiyan made the statement at a press briefing at the BNP’s Naya Paltan headquarters.

    Regarding war crimes trials and its process, the Chhatra Dal leader said, “This is a matter of sub-judice. We don’t want to comment now. We need to observe it more.”

    “However, rumors have it that the movement at Shahbag is being staged under a mutual arrangement,” he added.

    A procession under the banner of Dhaka University (DU) Teachers and Students reached there at 10:30am to express solidarity with the demonstration.

    Since Tuesday when a war crimes tribunal announced life imprisonment for Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla, thousands have gathered at the busy Dhaka intersection demanding death for the man who was called “Butcher of Bengalis” for his role in mass murders and other crimes during the 1971 Liberation War.

    People from all walks of life erupted into anger and frustration in the capital over the verdict of life sentence against war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah.

    Hundreds of outraged students, activists and ordinary citizens blocked the Shahbagh intersection in a spontaneous reaction to the court’s decision to award Mollah life imprisonment instead of capital punishment.

    With slogans for death sentence to all war criminals, students brought out torch processions at different points in the Shahbagh area and the Dhaka University campus in the evening. They also held a candlelit vigil at the Shahbagh intersection.

    Bloggers and Activist Network initiated the protest by organising a human chain in front of the National Museum. As hundreds of people poured in to join the protest, they decided to block the intersection.

    Police and RAB members took positions around the intersection, diverting traffic from four directions.

    They argued that life imprisonment was not at all a punishment for the elderly Jamaat leader, who never faced the consequences of the atrocities he committed against his own people.

    They said Mollah would walk free once the government changes.

    An angry passer-by said, “The war criminals should be made to stand in line and shot dead, the same way they killed thousands of innocent people in 1971.”

    Many people suspected that there were political motives behind such a verdict.

    “In 1996, Awami League allied with Jamaat, and who knows, they may become friends again soon.” an angry added.

    People all across the country criticized and rejected the verdict against Mollah.

    Social networking websites and Somewhereinblog were abuzz following the verdict as people updated their status on Facebook, tweeted, posted messages and articles denouncing the judgment.

    Shahbagh police Sub Inspector(SI) Moniruzzaman said that the protests were peaceful.

    The road crossing and neighbouring places teemed with people as the day rolled on, with Ekushey book fair visitors and activists of ruling Awami League and its partners in the alliance joining in.
    The protests, however, appeared split into three groups about 6:00pm as Chhatra League and Slogan 71 activists occupied the area where protests had continued since Tuesday afternoon.

    The protesters sported the national flag, brought out procession with torches, carried banners and festoons,screened films on the independence war, painted the road stretch, sang patriotic songs, staged street plays and shouted slogans against the International Crimes Tribunal 2 verdict.
    The protesters said that the tribunal was lenient in the conviction of Quader Molla compared with the crimes he had committed during the war.
    They questioned Quader Molla being jailed for life when five of six allegations of murdering several hundred people against him were proved.
    The attorney general, Mahbubey Alam, who expressed solidarity with the protests, said that they would appeal against the verdict. He said that they would try their best to ensure death penalty for Quader Molla.
    Blogger Baki Billah, in the evening. said, ‘We reject the tribunal verdict. We will stay here overnight. We will not leave the streets until Quader Molla is convicted to death penalty.’

    Prominent television Journalist ,famous with Ekusher Raat program, Anjan Roy, who was also holding protests, said that Quader Molla should be hanged until death for a hundred times because of the heinousness of the crimes he had committed.
    Poet Kazi Rozi, a witness in the case against Quader Molla, said that the verdict had stunned her. Mujahidul Islam Selim termed the verdict ‘frustrating.’
    Others who spoke there said that the Quader Molla verdict had ‘humiliated’ the nation and disappointed people seeking justice against mass murder and rape by war criminals. It also belittled the people who laid down their lives for the country.
    Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, Sangskritik Union, Charu Shilpi Sangsad, and music band Chitkar sang patriotic songs. Fakir Alamgir and Kafil Ahmed also joined in.
    Protesters shouted slogans against the verdict every time cultural activists sang ‘Bicharpati tomar bichar korbe jara, aj jegeche sei janata (People who will try you, Justice, have risen)

    Fine arts students put on display caricatures of war crimes suspects along the road stretch from the fine arts faculty to the Shahbagh crossing. People passing by were spitting on the caricatures. Protesters also hanged an effigy of Quader Mollah several times.
    A group of freedom fighters of Mukitjodha Sangsad Central Command Council carrying the national flags, joined the protesters.
    The Dhaka University Film Society set up a big screen and screened several films such as Stop Genocide, Muktir Gan, Aguner Parashmani, Al-Badr and Agami.

    The organisation’s president Ariful Islam said that they would keep screening films as long as protests would continue.
    Cultural group Brittanta 71 patrolled the city in a pick-up mobilising support for the death penalty for Quader Molla.
    The protests blocked traffic on roads Shahbagh to Matsya Bhaban and Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.

    Gonoforum’s Pankaj Battacharya, Artiste Kafil Ahmed, Sobbyasachi Hazra, Siddique Molla, BTV ex-director general M Hamid, cultural personality Nasir Uddin Yusuf, Awami League MP Abdul Mannan expressed their solidarity with the protesters.
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