Dhaka, Apr 28: The Islamists fundamentalists have raised a demand to remove the statue of the ‘lady justice’ (Goddess of Justice) from a Bangladesh Supreme Court.
The supporters of Islami Andolan Bangladesh, a hardline group in Bangladesh has held protest demonstration in support of their demand of removal of the statue and replacing it with Quran, defying the secular constitution of their country.
Thousands of supporters of this group joined the protests on April 26 calling for removal or destruction of the statue at the highest court of the nation.
The statue of “lady justice” has ruffled feathers in the Muslim-majority nation, with hardliners in recent weeks protesting against what they say is a Greek god not suited to Bangladesh.
Protesters want the statue of the blindfolded woman holding scales – said to represent justice – destroyed and replaced with a Quran, despite Bangladesh’s secular Constitution.
Supporters of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) gathered after Friday prayers outside the country’s national mosque Baitul Mukarram, in central Dhaka, chanting and wielding placards with slogans such as “demolish the statue on the court premises”.
According to the local police the protesters numbered around 10,000 attended the rally held amidst tight security.
IAB spokesman Atiqur Rahman said the group also wanted the removal of the country’s chief justice because of his “procrastination” in removing the statue, the Straight Times reported.
Last week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a meeting of top Islamic seminary teachers that she, too, disliked the statue, boosting the hardliners’ stance.
Secular rights groups accused her of kowtowing to the Islamists in preparation for an early general election.
Court officials have defended the statue as a symbol of justice.
Conservative Bangladesh has experienced increasing tensions between hardliners and secularists in recent years, suffering a spate of killings of atheist bloggers, religious minorities and foreigners.