The capital city has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country as the leaders and activists of Hefajat-e Islam took position in all the entry points of Dhaka since Sunday morning to press home its 13-point demand.
Thousands of leaders and activists of Hefajat, the Qawmi madrasa-based Islamist group, took to the streets at Amin Bazar, Abdullahpur, Demra, Jatrabari, Kanchpur, Postogola and Babubazar bridges braving rain and brandishing sticks to make their Dhaka siege programme a success.
The organisation has recently been campaigning to realise its 13-point demand that includes stern punishment to “atheist leaders” of the Shahbagh movement.
Meanwhile, Mufti Fayezullah, joint secretary general of Hefajat, told The Daily Star over phone that they will hold a rally in front of the north gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the capital in the afternoon.
The decision on whether they will continue the siege programme will be taken from the rally, said several Hefajat leaders and activists from the siege venues.
At all the entry points of the capital, the Hefajat men took part in the demonstration after Fazr prayers wielding national flags, reported our correspondents covering the event.
They are also seen chanting slogans demanding capital punishment to the “atheist bloggers” holding different types of banners and festoons in support of their demands.
On queries, Mehedi Hasan, a teacher of Talora Qawmi Madrasa in Dupchachiya of Bogra told our correspondent that they brought the national flags to dismiss common people’s belief that they have a liaison with anti-liberation forces.
Law enforcers put up barricades in all the entry points to resist them from entering the city. They were also seen asking Hefajat supporters to stay off them through loudspeakers.
At several points in the city, the Hefajat activists were seen to divert vehicles to materialise their siege programme.
Our correspondents also reported that the Hefajat leaders were using trucks as their podiums and supporters had flocked around them to raise slogans.
Hundreds of Hefajat leaders and activists took position on 1-kilometer area stretching from Hemayetpur to Amin Bazar after Fazr prayers.
Their numbers swelled to a few thousand as the day progressed.
They continued their demonstration even when rain deluged the city in the morning.
Divided into several groups, the Hefajat men were seen holding rallies and chanting slogans in support of their siege programme.
In Babu Bazar bridge, several thousand Hefajat men throng around 6:00am.
Later, the spill over stretched on nearly 1-km area.
Law enforcers put barbed wires in the Dhaka edge of the bridge to resist the activists from entering the capital.
Several thousand Hefajat activists also took position on Buriganga bridge no. 2 stretching on nearly 1-km area from Kadamtali to Nayabazar in Dhaka.
At first a procession from the Lalbagh Shahi Mosque in Dhaka reached the venue, then the bridge and its adjacent areas turned into a human sea with the presence of the Hefajat men.
They were seen chanting slogans -Ekta Kora Nastik Dhar, Jobai Kor, Jobai Kor (catch atheists one after another and slaughter them).