Bangladeshi activists seeking the death penalty for war criminals held a rally in the capital Dhaka yesterday, the 21st day of such demonstrations to press for their demand.
The rally began at Mirpur intersection of Dhaka as people from different walks of life thronged the venue to demand an end to what they described as “business in the name of religion”, thedailystar.net reported.
Since yesterday morning, people from different walks of life began to throng the Shahbagh intersection, popularly known as Projonmo Chattar, where youths chanted revolutionary slogans.
The movement began February 5, soon after Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in prison for rape, killing and genocide in 1971 during country’s Liberation War. People became angry on seeing the image of Mollah smiling and holding up two fingers in a “V” sign as he was led from the court.
Bloggers and Online Activist Network initiated the protest that soon turned into a mass movement.
Thousands of demonstrators on Sunday took out a procession in the capital to protest the countrywide daylong shutdown called by eight Islamist parties.
On February 21, the demonstrators held a huge rally, demanding capital punishment to all war criminals, including Mollah.
Black flags were hoisted February 18 in memory of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, an activist of ongoing Shahbagh movement as the current wave of demonstrations is called, who was stabbed to death on February 15.
On March 26, 1971, the people of then East Pakistan began a military campaign against Pakistani armed forces following largescale killings of civilians opposed to strong-arm rule of Islamabad.
The civil war led to the eventual India-Pakistan war in December 1971, leading to the break-up of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday approved a proposal to constitute a supreme judicial council comprising the chief justice and two senior most judges of the supreme court to probe allegations of ‘misconduct’ of a high court judge.
“The president signed a law ministry proposal to constitute a supreme judicial council in line with the constitution to investigate the allegations against Justice. Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan,” Ek Din quoted a spokesman of the President’s Secretariat
Law minister Shafique Ahmed said the ministry received presidential order to be forwarded to the chief justice Muzammel Hossain who would initiate necessary steps to launch an investigation.
“The council will submit its report to the president and if the judge is found guilty of the allegations of misconduct, he may order his (Bhuiyan’s) removal,” Ahmed said.
The move came a week after Justice Bhuiyan allegedly distributed photocopies of news items calling slain blogger Rajib Haidar an ‘atheist and anti-Islam’ to other supreme court judges using supreme court copiers and envelopes as part of campaign against the activists’ Shahbagh campaign in Dhaka.
The judge’s activity sparked widespread protest with lawmakers in parliament and protesters at Shahbagh, who are waging a massive campaign against 1971 war criminals, demanding the judge’s removal for spreading hatred.
Justice Bhuiyan, who hails from Narsingdi, was appointed an additional high court judge on July 29, 2002 and was regularised on July 29, 2004.