Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013

MOTIJHEEL RALLY

Hefajat desperate to linger

Shafi yet to show up citing security grounds

Hundreds of Hefajat-e Islam supporters march towards the capital to join a rally at Motijheel to press home a 13-point demand. Photo: STAR

Several lakh Hefajat men turned up for Sunday’s post-siege rally at downtown Motijheel but till 9:00pm its ameer Ahmad Shah Shafi did not show up resulting in confusion among the rally-goers about their probable next step.
Islami Oikya Jote chief Mufti Abdul Latif Nezami told The Daily Star, “Shafi could not come to the rally on security grounds. The rally will continue until his arrival.”
The radical Islamists have apparently played the trick to linger the rally.
Following convergence at six entry points to the capital as part of its much-hyped Dhaka siege programme, Hefajat-e Islam men secured a last-moment government permission to hold a rally at Shapla Chattar.
Thousands of activists of Hefajat converged in the capital’s commercial hub, Motijheel, to join the rally around 3:00pm and scores of its leaders made speeches asking government to realize its 13-point charter of demands that include a blasphemy law.
Confusion was rife on Sunday night as Shafi did not turn up and other leaders kept consulting among themselves and also with some leaders of BNP-led 18-party combine on whether to continue sit-in at Motijheel or leave the place.
Earlier, the activists, who earlier took part in a Dhaka blockade programme blocking all the entry points, started to march towards the rally venue in processions soon after the authorities issued permission for the rally.
The rally went on even when some of their men, allegedly instigated by Jamaat-Shibir men, vandalised and torched public properties and had battles with law enforcers.
At 9:15pm, its secretary general Junaid Babunagari asked the crowd to remain seated at Shapla Chattar till its ameer Shafi reached the venue but he could not confirm when would that happen.
Briefing newsmen at Sunday night, BNP leader Shamsuzzaman Dudu said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had asked her party activists and people of Dhaka to render all supports to Hefajat men staying at Motijheel.

  • Yamuna Jamil

    Just take it easy, as we all did the past like “Lagathar Hartals, Logi Boita, Aborodh”…
    The “Haiti of the East” shall never prevail and there is no ground to support it.
    43 long years, and not long enough! What were the Mission and Vision our FREEDOM during 9 months war?

    Are Islamist the ONLY culprits? “Blame transfer” never works.