Youths return to Shahbagh

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Youths of Gonojagoron Mancha after a hiatus of 42 days again returned to the Shahbagh intersection in the capital on Friday as part of their countrywide 22-hour blocked programme.

The youths who have been demonstrating for the death penalty of war criminals enforced the road, rail and waterway blockade from 6:00pm to counter Hefajat-e Islam long march towards Dhaka.

Hefajat, a radical Islamist group, decided to hold the road march on April 6 protesting Shahbagh youths’ ‘defamatory remarks about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’.

The youths of Gonojagoron Mancha also took position at five entry points of the capital making makeshift podium to resist the entry of the vehicles carrying Hefajat activists.

The manchas were built at Sadarghat Launch Terminal, Jatrabari crossing, Ashulia (Jahangirnagar Gate and in front of Fantasy Kingdom), Tongi crossing and Kamalapur Railway Station.

“The protesters will continue their sit-in till 4:00pm on Saturday,” said Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of Gonojagoron Mancha, at a press conference.

“We will visit Sadarghat and Jatrabari manchas initially and go to the rest in phases,” said Maruf Rasul, one of the core organisers of the movement.

In Shahbagh, hundreds of youths imbued with the spirit of ’71 seen chanting slogans “Blocked is going on and will be continued. We will get the country rid of Jamaat-Shibir and anti-liberation forces.”

Imran at the press conference also announced to hold a mass rally at Shahbagh at 5:00pm Saturday and urged everyone to make the rally a success.

People from all spectrums of life flocked to Shahbagh since afternoon.

Cultural programmes including rendering revolutionary songs have been going on since 5:00pm.
Twenty-three pro-liberation organisations including Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee and Sammilito Sangskritik Jote brought out torch processions from several points of the capital to press home their countrywide 24-hour shutdown on the same demand.

The shutdown that started from 6:00pm is continuing as the organisers observing sit-in at 20 points of the capital.

Source: The Bangladesh Chronicle