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Monday, February 8, 2016

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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Solidarity in silence

Bangladesh stops 3 minutes for justice in war crimes trial

People of all walks of life throng Shahbagh in the capital yesterday and stand in silence raising three fingers for three minutes from 4:00pm demanding capital punishment for all war criminals of the Liberation War. The three-minute standing in silence protest was observed across the country. Photo: Amran Hossain

At 4:00pm, the country took a pause.

Cars and buses stopped in their paths. People in thousands streamed into the streets and stood in silence.

A silence that was more overpowering than the strongest of slogans, a silence stronger than the high-tempered steel. A silence that cried in the loudest of voices: We want just trial of the war criminals. We want justice for the genocide committed 42 years ago.

It was a scene, a transformation of the nation never witnessed before.

People held hands to form human chains. Passengers in buses left their seats and stood in silence. They all showed solidarity with the Shahbagh protesters who, for the last eight days, are holding non-stop protests for justice for the crimes committed against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

For three minutes from 4:00pm, the afternoon was no longer an afternoon. It became a part of history.

It became emblematic of the resolute spirit of 1971 when three million people laid down their lives for the independence of Bangladesh from the clutches of Pakistan.

It was also a show of hatred for the handful few led by Jamaat-e-Islami and its leaders including Ghulam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami, Abdul Quader Mollah, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and others, who tried to defend Pakistan and committed heinous crimes like genocide, rape and plunder against Bangalees.

For the first time since the protesters started demonstration at the Shahbagh intersection eight days ago, the entire place came to a standstill at 4:00pm, resonating with the silent appeal of the whole country for justice. They had called on the whole nation to observe the three-minute silence today.

“60...59...58...” cried thousands of voices in unison in a countdown to the three-minute silence to press home their demands for capital punishment to all war criminals.

“3...2...1...” suddenly, the otherwise roaring crowd at Shahbagh lapsed into complete silence, as the protesters raised their hands at 4:00pm, and solemnly and silently pledged their support for the movement for justice.

The surrounding areas were also quiet during the three minutes -- there were no slogans, no honks, no shouts or chatters of hawkers or bystanders.

A thunderous chorus of “Joy Bangla” broke the three-minute silence, followed by the animated slogans that have been going on at Shahbagh since the protesters took to the streets eight days ago.

People, irrespective of their age, profession, class, ethnicity and religion, showed their support for the movement.

“All the staff in this building came down spontaneously,” said an employee of a media house. “As word got out that some people were going down to express solidarity, everyone else wanted to do the same. It was a powerful feeling.”

Tasmia Rahman, an NGO worker, said, “We couldn't get down in time, since we were on the top floor of the building. We stood in silence on our floor instead.”

Arju Shefa, a grade-12 student, said, “My rickshaw-puller pulled the rickshaw over and told me to observe the silence. He also asked others around us to do the same.”

Bangladesh Premier League took a pause for three minutes, as players and supporters at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur stood in silence in support of the movement.

Parliamentarians, secretariat officials and journalists covering the parliament session lined up in front of the parliament's South Plaza. Law enforcers were also seen expressing their support at different points. Many garment and transport workers halted their work, and students came out of their educational institutions.

People across the country responded to the call for holding the three-minute silence. Thousands of people poured into the streets to hold the three-minute silence in Pabna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Narsingdi, Madaripur, Chandpur, Kushtia, Munshiganj, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Khulna and Khagrachhari, report our correspondents.

They stood in silence wherever they could -- in highways, in front of markets, shops, educational institutions or their homes.

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We have missed the opportunity to join there where the History's torch is lighting up millions against those who tried defend Pakistan and committed crimes and plunder against us. Now solidarity in all shoulders of our nation and that is without border.

: Sengupta, Canada

Unprecedented incident happened under the youth movement that united whole nation as it happened in 1971 to get our liberation.It will be catalyst of our future politics as well.

: Mohammad Jasim


  • A Choudhury
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 02:26 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    I & my family stood up for the 3 minuets silence to our solidarity( with the millions of our countrymen, women & children ) with the Projanma Chattar.

    Now let me join with them to voice my joyous slogan 'Joy Bangla' & add ' Joy Bangabandhu.

  • Shah Asad Ahmed
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 03:51 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    Praiseworthy indeed! Synergies developed can be transformed in building a nation where people would not die due to negligence in fire safety, discriminatory practices against women will be gone, ordinary people will have the pulling environment to exercise their freedom, and so on that we dream for.

  • ShamimH
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 04:11 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    The clarion call for our freedom was - Jay Bangla, the two words that were screamed by the three students who were on top of Surja Sen Hall, as they were lined up by Paki Army and shot, as reported by eyewitnesses. So, now it is again with a new generation.

  • Mohammed Shah Alam Khan from CANADA
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 06:03 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    It is my pleasure to see the great achievement of the today’s youth at Projonmo Square. I am sure this youth will bring us in real place of life. No politics no advice no lectures from any one go with your own. I am sure ALLAH is beside you guys.

  • M. K. Alam
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 09:38 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    The 3-minute silence all over the country for justice in war crimes trial is a sign of the greatest national unity and discipline for which the nation is very much proud of the new generation. The spontaneous participation of people from all walks of life is a great source of inspiration in our national life and the credit goes to the new generation. We hope the issues relating to other burning national problems like holding free fair and participatory national election through neutral and non-partisan government, human right violation, killing of opponents, various financial scams in gov. sector, unlimited corruption etc. should also be raised and solved from the same platform to save the country from present grave situations prevailing in the country. The role of new generation will be remembered for ever.

  • neutral
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 02:58 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    For those who have little doubts about the genocide committed in 1971 by the Jamaat and its killing squad, have enough reason to question neutrality in the people movement as they also did not admit the people's movement for freedom in 1971; and even failing short of derecognizing Bangladesh adopting the political ideology defeated in 1971.

    Thanks to the DS for a befitting headline and showing the picture as living evidence of spirit of the youth running the movement in silent and in acts and deeds.

    Bangladesh has become a safe heaven for the reactionaries living in high profile style and just understand their benefit and freedom to oppose any thing which goes against their interest.

    Yes, the movement of the youth is neutral for those who believe is secular democracy, know the ugly faces of the Jamaat and its political allies and want to see a democratic institutional programme runs under direct watchdog role of the youth in movement.

  • S K
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:09 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    The power of silence has resulted in endless strength for the ongoing mass movement. This type of national solidarity was seen in the war of our liberation in 1971. Long live Shahbagh movement. To hell with the Jamaat-Shibir including those who are supporting Jamaat-Shibir.

  • Md Musa
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 02:41 AM GMT+06:00 (156 weeks ago)

    The most electrifying would be in this occasion the oath taking ceremony taken by sector commander Khaled Mosharraf during 1971 war and all the freedom fighters chanting raising their arms after his speech - joy Bangla, amar jatir prodhan neta, Sheikh Mujib Sheikh Mujib, tomar neta amar neta Sheikh Mujib Sheikh Mujib, songram songram, cholbe cholbe, joy Bangla joy Bangla.





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