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Hundreds march in Dhaka to defy shutdown
Publication Date : 24-02-2013
Thousands of demonstrators at Shahbagh in Dhaka brought out a mass procession this morning chanting revolutionary slogans and taking a vow to resist the countryside daylong shutdown called by eight Islamist parties.
The protesters demanding death penalty to all war criminals began the mass procession in a high spirit from the capital’s Shahbagh intersection, popularly known as Projonmo Chattar, around 9:45am.
The procession will march through Matsya Bhaban, Jatiya Press club and Purana Paltan before returning to Shahbagh.
People regardless of religion, cast and creed; bloggers; organisers of the Shahbagh demonstration; and leaders and activists of different student fronts of political parties took part in the procession.
On Saturday, Imran H Sarker, convener of the Blogger and Online Activist Network, urged the people to bring out mass processions across the country to resist today's hartal.
Addressing a grand rally at Rayerbazar Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial in the capital, Sarker called to resist those who rampaged through the country on Friday burning and tearing national flags, destroying Shaheed Minars and beating up police.
Like previous days, people from all walks of life irrespective of age, sex and class gathered at the protest venue wholeheartedly since the morning to express solidarity with the protesters as the demonstration stepped into 20th straight day on Sunday.
They were also seen chanting different revolutionary slogans to strengthen the movement, reported our correspondent covering the event.
Earlier Friday afternoon, about 16 hours after the nonstop movement was wrapped up, the Blogger and Online Activist Network returned to the Shahbagh intersection following the violence of the Jamaat-Shibir activists across the country.
On February 21, the protesters held a grand rally, the third of its kind since the protest began on February 5 demanding capital punishment to all war criminals including Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
They also released balloons in the air after tying letters with it commemorating the martyrs of the Liberation War at 4:13pm on February 20, the moment the Pakistani forces surrendered on 16 December 1971.
On February 18, black flags were hoisted at Shahbagh intersection and different educational institutions across the country in memory of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was brutally killed by unknown miscreants.
Rajib, also an activist of ongoing Shahbagh movement, was found stabbed dead near his house at Pallabi in the capital February 15.
The movement began on February 5, hours after a war crimes tribunal sentenced Jamaat leader Mollah to life term in prison for crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
Rejecting the verdict, Bloggers and Online Activist Network initiated the protest that soon turned into a mass movement.
Within a few days, it spread to other parts of the country and eventually abroad.