Published: Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mollah Execution

Social sites explode, global media abuzz

“Finally, with one Rajakar less, a happy start of the day.”
This is one of the comments flooding the social media after Thursday night’s hanging of war criminal Quader Mollah. Facebook user Senjuti posted it yesterday morning.
“Death of a killer, rapist and traitor; justice delayed but not denied,” one Asad Abro tweeted.
The hanging of Mollah was covered by renowned newspapers of the US, the UK, Australia, India and Pakistan.
In their coverage, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Voice of America, Washington Post, The Times of India and Dawn described Mollah as an “opposition leader” and highlighted violence by Jamaat-e-Islami men following the execution.
Al Jazeera ran a report titled “Bangladesh hangs opposition leader”. Its online version said the judges’ ancestral homes had been attacked in the wake of the execution. The report termed the violence unleashed by Jamaat-Shibir men a “micro-level civil war” in Bangladesh.
The story drew at least 360 comments. One of those said: “344 men, women and children were killed by this man [Mollah]; still he is a ‘Muslim leader’?”
The execution story was in CNN’s “Five stories not to miss” category. Titled “Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader despite UN objections”, it apparently tried to present the execution as a political decision.
BBC ran a report “Bangladesh Islamist Abdul Kader Mullah buried after execution” and analysis “Bangladesh hanging of Abdul Kader Mullah risks derailing elections”.
On Facebook, Ammar Aziz of Pakistan wrote: “I’m generally against the death penalty, but exceptions are there … It is the defeat of the pro-West Pakistani establishment clergy of the then East Pakistan. It is the defeat of an ideology which justified the genocide of the innocent Bengalis which the armed forces of (West) Pakistan nastily continued during the war.
“It’s about time that we start hanging the terrorist beasts like Qadri and sectarian murderers in Pakistan, although, I’m not very optimistic about it.”
Gonojagoron Mancha, a platform to demand maximum punishment for war criminals, on its Facebook page posted a picture of a freedom fighter wiping his tears. The caption read: “These are tears of joy.”
Many posted V sign as retaliation to what Quader Mollah had showed getting life term by the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on February 5.
However, a number of groups and individuals on the social network criticised the execution. One Salma Yaqub on Twitter termed the trial and the execution “unfair”.
Basherkella, a Facebook page allegedly run by Shibir and infamous for instigating communal violence through photoshopped images and manipulated stories, posted a number of messages asking people to “wage a war against the killer government”.
Rebuffing such propaganda, an overwhelming number of people thanked the government for bringing war criminals to justice.
One Sourav Banerjee on Facebook wrote, “Dear madam Prime Minister, you have so many faults … while running the country. Today, I am not writing about any of these issues. Today, I want to salute you for executing one of the marked and infamous war criminals whose audacity has been wounding this country for the last 42 years.”