Bangladesh: Nationwide protest on Azharul's death penalty decision gets poor response

Agencies    31-Dec-2014

Dhaka, December 31: The countrywide two-day hartal, enforced by Jamaat-e-Islami protesting the death sentence awarded to its acting secretary general ATM Azharul Islam for war crimes, is continuing amid poor response on the first day on Wednesday. 

The shutdown in first phase began at 6.00am and will end at 5:30pm.The party will again enforce hartal in another phase on Thursday from 6am to 5:30pm.

No major incident of violence was reported from any parts of the country, except some stray incidents.

Activists of Jamaat and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir brought out processions in support of the shutdown in Goran area under Khilgaon thana and Alia Madrsa area under Chwakbazar thana in the morning only to be dispersed by police.

 Who is  ATM Azharul Islam?        

1. ATM Azharul Islam was the first president of University of Dhaka branch of Shibir in 1977 session.

2.Currently he is the acting secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.

3. On August 22, 2012 he was arrested by police from his house in Moghbazar, Dhaka.

4. He has been awarded death penalty for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War

Vehicular movement in the city was almost normal as additional policemen were deployed at important points to fend off any untoward incident.

Pickets torched a covered van at Ghuntighar under Shyampur thana in the city’s Gandaria area at about 6:35 am.

Later, a fire fighting unit doused the flame. Farhad Hossain, duty officer of Fire Service Control Room, confirmed the incident.However, no long-route buses left the city, news agency The Bangladesh Today reported.

Although vehicular movement was less than normal, the number is more than other hartal days with the lower presence of pickets on the city streets. A large number of law enforcers are guarding the city streets to avert any untoward incident.

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Tuesday condemned Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam to death for the crimes against humanity, including rape and genocide, he committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

Jamaat acting ameer Moqbul Ahmad on Tuesday announced the dawn-to-dusk hartal in two phases for Wednesday and Thursday through a press statement shortly after the ICT had delivered the judgment.