Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013

13-point demand

Hefajat cuts off capital from country

Armed with sticks, hundreds block Dhaka's entry points

Thousands of activists and supporters of Hefajat-e Islam gather near Buriganga Bridge-1 to block the entry point Sunday morning as part of its Dhaka siege programme. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Thousands of activists and supporters of Hefajat-e Islam gather near Buriganga Bridge-1 Sunday morning to block the entry point as part of its Dhaka siege programme. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

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.

AMIN BAZAR

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.

POSTAGOLA

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.

KERANIGANJ

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).

 

 



  • Elpadrinobc

    People should think twice before they give money to the madrasas who create these brainwashed individuals. Next time you go to a mosque and are asked to pay your 5 tk or 10tk for madrasa think before you pay that money. Are you helping terrorism thrive by donating your 5tk? Think before you give your qubani cow’s hide to these terrorists. A lot of introspection is required my fellow Bangladeshi brethren.

    • Reaz Hassan

      You are asking for Godless education. If that stream of education is closed down, we shall be producing a class of rootless persons ignorant of their history and heritage. Between them and the bloggers who are now being prosecuted, there shall be no difference. We shall be living in a free thinking era with total freedom to do as we deem fit in our socioeconomic and political life and in outlook. By the way, do you have a religion?

      • Elpadrinobc

        Banning terrorist madrasas does not mean Godless education.

      • Felinegrace88

        I don’t think he was talking about Godless education. And anyway, do you think that the Madrasas are the only place to teach us of our history and heritage? Then why didn’t all the miscreants of jamat shibir send their children to Madrasa? Why they had to send them to first world countries to receive education? You do not have the answer. And anyway it’s should not be your concern to know the religious background of anyone here. Awkward.

        • Reaz Hassan

          1. Madrasas are the main foundation of primary education which besides teaching general educational curricula, also teaches modern languages like Bengali and English in Bangladesh. The students attending those institutions have a balanced mooring in their own history and heritage. On the other hand, those studying in the secular schools are not well versed in their own religious texts.. Mind you, there is a big difference between being a Muslim to whom their religion is pervasive and controls and fashions their life.

          2. Anyone, especially the rich send their children/ward to western countries to acquire western education or those who have the merit to get financial support. Madrasa background students are few in number.
          3. I may not have the right answer-the answer you are looking for- because you have a different bent of mind.
          4. It becomes occasionally a necessity to know one’s faith-situation compels it. I have enough reason to ask both of your articles of faith.

        • Reaz Hassan

          1. Madrasas are the main foundation of primary education which besides teaching general educational curricula, also teaches modern languages like Bengali and English in Bangladesh. The students attending those institutions have a balanced mooring in their own history and heritage. On the other hand, those studying in the secular schools are not well versed in their own religious texts.. Mind you, there is a big difference between being a Muslim to whom their religion is pervasive and controls and fashions their life.

          2. Anyone, especially the rich send their children/ward to western countries to acquire western education or those who have the merit to get financial support. Madrasa background students are few in number.
          3. I may not have the right answer-the answer you are looking for- because you have a different bent of mind.
          4. It becomes occasionally a necessity to know one’s faith-situation compels it. I have enough reason to ask both of your articles of faith.

    • from_beluchistan

      You are one of those who think that whatever Western media feeds to your mouth is true . Terrorism is feeding thousands of people in to a building and they blowing is apart right ; 9/11 proved that , our BD authority has proved that in Savar . Now, I do not think that these madrasa student of Bangladesh does not have that capacity to that .

  • Elpadrinobc

    It will become worse than Afganistan if Jamaat Hefajot rule for 5 years. Thousands of people will die.

  • from_beluchistan

    Just tagging somebody as terrorist without proof is defamation; just because you can not utilize whats there in Quran , because you haven’t read it in the first place shows your ignorance . And , I think we are all adult enough to know how the world politics works .

  • from_beluchistan

    You don’t want to generalize by observing a few instances .

    • Zman7

      How many are few? Today it may look like a few, tomorrow it will be not only many, but many in millions if it is not controlled now

      • from_beluchistan

        Well , Islam and state stayed side by side in Bangladesh for hundreds of years ; people in BD give alms to others irrespective of their race and religion . We have a problem with Jamaat and Shibir , we all realize that , but our two main political parties do not do so . I am surprised that no body talk about the condoning that Jamaat-Shibir receives from BNP .

  • Vikram Khan

    Is it human to organize violent demonstrations in a place like Dhaka where many of dead bodies of the Savar victims are still not buried? Let the Hefajar and Jamaat demonstrators donate 10 Taka each to the victims, all disabled for life, so they will not starve and their children can get an education. That would be an act of religious compassion.

    • Zman7

      Well said Vikram Khan. They have money to spend — $25 million (as it was reported in media) just for lobbying in favor of war-criminals — but why not now for the innocents victims, whose lives are devastated by terrible “man-made” catastrophe at Savar. Yes, that would truly be an act of religious compassion.

  • Reaz Hassan

    When you write something sensitive in the public domain, the door opens up automatically as it touches the tender consciences. You hate madrasas (I have no problem with that), but talking about brain washing and “helping terrorism thrive” through our traditional schools is a foolish and childish statement. In the general schools, rudimentary religious education exists in fusion with scientific and modern education but Madrasas are specialized theological academies just like the monasteries and nunneries in the Christian world and ‘tolls’ to impart Hindu scriptures. Next time, I hope you will spare us from asking odd questions about your background,etc. Understood?

  • Pherber Lovelace

    Anti blasphemy? They’d be better off demonstrating for some construction standards!