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United in Anger, United in Protest

February 10, 2013

On February 5, International Crime Tribunal delivered its second verdict on notorious death squad Al-Badr leader Abdul Quader Mollah aka Kosai Quader (Butcher Quader). The verdict, life imprisonment of Butcher Quader, disappointed People longing for his death sentence.

The verdict came at a moment when the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chatra Shibir brought the country to a halt with unprecedented violence. Police was its worst victims. But this scene dramatically changed. People witnessed Jamaat-shibir hold rally at the heart of capital’s commercial area with Police protection. Jamaat leader threatened to initiate civil-war if their leaders are not released from jail. They even gave flowers to police.

Just a day later, The ICT verdict came like a big blow. Despite the court found him guilty without doubt on 5 of 6 counts, this punishment is mild, taking into account the crimes he committed in 1971.

This verdict was so unexpected that ordinary people came out of their homes and held rallies for capital punishment of all the Razakars. Within minutes, protests were brought out by ordinary people at key areas across the country. At Shahbag, what was a trickle of protest is now becoming a mass movement. In the very beginning, it was just a simple human chain organized by some online activists and bloggers, soon it has culminated in a permanent sit-in, supported and participated by people believe in the spirits of liberation war. What we have been seeing at Shahbag is just the outburst of people’s pent-up anger against Jamaat-Shibir.

The moment I’m writing this post the movement is gaining momentum. These are some of the snaps I took at Shahbag.:

Day 1

First group of protesters

First group of protesters

Candle light vigil. The beginning of the very beginning!

Candle light vigil. The beginning of the very beginning!

Day 2

Protest continues for the second consecutive day at Shahbag. Wave after wave of processions join the sit-in and burn the effigies of infamous Al-Badr, Al-Shams, Rajakar, Jamaat-i-Islami & Islami Chatra Shibir's leaders.

Protest continues for the second consecutive day at Shahbag. Wave after wave of processions join the sit-in and burn the effigies of infamous Al-Badr, Al-Shams, Rajakar, Jamaat-i-Islami & Islami Chatra Shibir’s leaders.

A young artist entwined with ropes demanding capital punishment for Razakars, death squad responsible for mudering, torturing and othercriminal offences during 1971 liberation war, at Chobir haat, opposit to Institute of Fine Arts.

A young artist entwined with ropes demanding capital punishment for Razakars, death squad responsible for mudering, torturing and othercriminal offences during 1971 liberation war, at Chobir haat, opposit to Institute of Fine Arts.

Effigies of war criminals are being hanged on all the traffic light posts.

Effigies of war criminals are being hanged on all the traffic light posts.

A Candle light vigil portraying the map of Bangladesh. In fact, the movement has reached to the farthest part of Bangladesh. From Cox's Bazar to Sylhet, from Comilla to Chittagong, everyone is demanding the capital punishment for war criminals.

A Candle light vigil portraying the map of Bangladesh. In fact, the movement has reached to the farthest part of Bangladesh. From Cox’s Bazar to Sylhet, from Comilla to Chittagong, everyone is demanding the capital punishment for war criminals.

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