Strike called against Mujahid verdict; 200 arrested countrywide

Jamaat shibir arrested

More than 200 people were arrested throughout the countrywide 24-hour general strike called by the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami starting from 6:00am. Most of the intercity transports remained off the road although some of them plied on the highways. Rail and water communications remained functioning.

More than 200 hundred people, among them leaders and activists of the Jamaat and student organization Islami Chhatra Shibir, along with those from Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) were arrested across the country. The Jamaat called the strike immediately after the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of its secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid on charges of crimes against humanity, including the murders of intellectuals, committed during the 1971 war of independence.

In a release, the Jamaat said the strike was called in protest against ‘conspiracy to kill’ Mujahid. In Dhaka, Jamaat and Shibir men brought out flash processions at Khilgaon, Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh, Kafrul, Khilkhet, Bhatara and Rampura in the city. A large number of law enforcers remained deployed in different parts of the capital.

The police arrested more than 200 people, among them activists of Jamaat, Shibir and BNP, including 53 in Rajshahi, 23 in Khulna, 17 in Meherpur, 12 in Rangpur, 10 in Chandpur, 8 in Narail and 5 in Lakshmipur.

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 on July 17, 2013, sentenced Mujahid to death on seven counts, including murders of intellectuals, genocide, abduction and persecution. In Rangpur, where Jamaat and Shibir brought out flash processions at places, police arrested 12 Jamaat and Shibir men at different upazillas between Tuesday evening and Wednesday noon, said district superintendent of police Abdur Razzak.

New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that a group of Jamaat men brought out a procession in the National University, Signboard and Board Bazar areas in the morning and vandalised some vehicles on the Dhaka-Tangail highway.

In Sylhet, Jamaat and Shibir activists brought out sudden processions at Shibganj, Kazitula, Shah Paran Gate and Dakkhin Surma in the city.  Although some shopping centres opened in the afternoon, long-route buses, however, did not left the city terminals before evening, transport owners said.

In a drive at at house at Godown Road in Lakhsmipur on Wednesday morning, police arrested five activists, including Lakshmipur Shibir President Rezaul Karim Khan, Office Secretary Fazlul Karim, along with Ali Ahmed, Saiful Islam and Nur-e-Alam.

On Tuesday night, police arrested 90 people including 10 activists of Jamaat and Shibir from eight upazilas in Jessore.

In Patgati of Tungipara, Gopalganj, police arrested 3 activists of Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal, including Jubo Dal Patgati Union President Rezaul Sheikh, Robiul Sheikh and Chhatra Dal activist Shohag Sarder.

In drives conducted by police from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon, 6 people were arrested from Thakurgaon City and Haripur Upazila, including Haripur Jamaat office secretaryAbdul Karim.

In Khulna, it was reported that the police arrested at least 54 people, including 30 activists of Jamaat, Shibir and BNP. In a drive, police also arrested Satkhira Jamaat Ameer and former lawmaker Abdul Khaleque Mandol on Tuesday at Khalilnagar women’s madrassah under Satkhira sadar upazila. Police alleged that they had recovered a pistol with two bullets from him during the drive, said Satkhira sadar police station officer-in-charge Emdad Sheikh.