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Jamaat's call for strikes
Publication Date : 18-02-2013
The Jamaat-e-Islami's hartals (strikes) are becoming repetitive and tedious. And it is futile to ask them whether they realise that using a perfectly legitimate political tool indiscriminately is fetching them any dividend at all. We find their call for hartal for Monday an irresponsible and politically disastrous step.
Yesterday in Sylhet, and the two days starting from Saturday in Cox's Bazaar, Jamaat had called for hartals ostensibly to protest police action on their political programmes. These have caused unnecessary suffering to the people of these two areas. And if the party wants to carry its message to the public, putting them under duress is not the way to convey one's point. If anything, Jamaat has alienated the public all the more.
We feel constrained to repeat what we have said many times before: Jamaat is fighting for the wrong cause. Calling for release of their leaders, now under trial on charges of crimes against humanity, has no taker, because the country is totally one, barring only a few hardcore Jamaat supporters, when it comes to the issue of trials of war criminals and the severest punishment of those under trial in the Tribunals. And the sooner they realise that the outcome of their violence and their activities that go against the grain of popular feelings and their comments that are abrasive to the sensitivity of the people are counterproductive, the less harm will they do to themselves.
We have watched with a great degree of trepidation Jamaat and its student organisation, Islami Chhatra Shibir, deliberately indulging in violence, particularly on the eve of hartal called by the party, with the sole purpose of creating panic among the public. And they have targeted the police in particular. This is a deliberate tactic to precipitate a horrific situation.
In this context we hear of calls to counter the hartal. This may raise an apprehension of confrontation but any act that does not have the people's support, but on the contrary causes them difficulty, is repugnant to public sensibility. However, resisting hartal should come as part of a civic movement participated by all.