Monday, March 4, 2013

Jamat Unleashed Unprecedented Violence

Source: Daily Star, 04 Mar 2013

19 more killed

Jamaat-Shibir unleashes another wave of terror in 5 districts during first day of hartal

Stick-wielding Jamaat-Shibir men run riot, vandalising different business centres at an intersection in Bogra town yesterday.Photo: STAR
It was all lies -- outright and outrageous -- but it worked. Jamaat's propaganda machine used a photoshopped image of Delawar Hossain Sayedee's face on the moon yesterday to entice people to unleash a second wave of terror that left at least 19 people, including a policeman, dead in five districts.
Bogra witnessed the worst, as Jamaat-Shibir men assembled locals through repeated announcements over loudspeakers that "Sayedee's face was seen on the moon and it's your holy duty to save him; otherwise, we all will go to hell”. Around 4 in the morning, they launched into attacks on police in different upazilas.
At least nine people were killed in Bogra, six in Joypurhat, two in Rajshahi, one in Satkhira and a policeman in Jhenidah in a deadly spate of violence throughout the day.
Three women were among the dead in Bogra, as Jamaat men used women and children as a human shield during the attacks on law enforcers.
The situation worsened to such an extent that the local administration had to seek the army's help to protect the Shahjahanpur Police Station in Bogra.
At least 63 people have died since Jamaat-Shibir activists went on the rampage on Thursday after a war crimes tribunal sentenced Sayedee to death.
Yesterday was the first day of Jamaat's two-day hartal to protest Thursday's police action.
Meanwhile, Border Guard Bangladesh personnel were deployed in the capital around 8:00pm to ward off violence.
In Bogra, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir tricked hundreds of villagers into taking to the streets in the early morning, and launching attacks on law enforcers.
They clashed with law enforcers, attacked a police station and six outposts, vandalised and torched different offices. At least four people, including three women, died in Shahjahanpur upazila, three in Bogra Sadar and two in Shibganj upazila.
The violence that began around 4:00am came to a halt after four hours following news of troops deployment. However, army personnel were called back around 6:00pm.
People in different upazilas said they heard announcements over loudspeakers in the early hours on Sunday that Sayedee's image was seen on the moon.
Moved by the announcements, hundreds of people, mostly from Shahjahanpur, Kahalu, Shibganj and Dupchanchia upazilas, came out of their houses and started marching towards Bogra Sadar upazila headquarters, protesting the death penalty to Sayedee.
A few thousand people attacked Shahjahanpur Police Station near the Bogra Cantonment, around 6:00am.
"They beat up policemen indiscriminately in a surprise attack,” Mahmudul Alam, officer-in-charge of the police station, told The Daily Star.
Police opened fire to bring the situation under control, said Bogra Superintendent of Police Mozammel Haq.
Four people died there.
Atiar Rahman, an inspector of the police station, identified the four as Arjinba Begum, 45, Monjila Begum, 48, Achhia Begum, 45, and Abdur Rahman, 60.
The protesters set fire to the house of Momtaz Uddin, president of district AL unit, in the town.
The vandalism continued for nearly 50 minutes. Three more persons died in clashes in Bogra Sadar.
Their identities could not be known.
Section 144 was imposed in Bogra municipality from 7:00am to contain violence, and it would remain in force until further orders, said Arifuzzaman, nezarat deputy collector in Bogra.
In a statement, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) condemned attacks on the house of FBCCI director Momtaz Uddin, business establishments and the office of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Joypurhat witnessed a spate of violence, as pro-hartal activists clashed with police in Panchbibi and Sadar upazila. At least six persons were killed and 30 others were hit by bullets during the clashes.
The dead are Nasir Uddin, 18, of Bashkur village, Hasib Uddin, 50, of Baramanik, Forman Ali, 30 of Rasulpur, Abdul Hakim, 32, of Salaipur, Mojidul Islam, 35, of Kashra village, and Abdul Bari, 24, of Rahmatpur village.
Five of them were killed in Panchbibi and the other in Joypurhat sadar, said sources.
Jamaat-Shibir activists swooped on police in front of Joypurhat Palli Bidyut Samity office around 11:00am, prompting police to fire shots. One person was killed on the spot.
Another group of Jamaat men gathered at Panchbibi Bazar to lay siege to the Panchbibi Police Station. As they marched towards the police station, BGB and police personnel fired shots, leaving two persons dead.
Three of the injured later died at Panchbibi Health Complex.
Md Hamidul Islam, superintendent of police in Joypurhat, confirmed that three persons died in the clashes.
However, Fazlur Rahman, Jamaat ameer in Joypurhat, said six persons were killed during the clashes in Panchbibi and Joypurhat.
Section 144 was imposed in Panchbibi and Joypurhat sadar following the clashes.
Jamaat men launched attacks on law enforcers at Godagari upazila in Rajshahi, leaving at least two persons dead and 30 people injured.
The dead are Rafiqul Islam, 12, of Godagari municipality, and Mojahid Hossain, 45, activist of Jamaat municipality unit and Imam of Mohishalbari mosque, said Wahidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Godagari Police Station.
Section 144 was slapped in the municipality for an indefinite period after the clash, said Godagari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Tuhinur Alam.
Witnesses said the clash erupted when more than 500 Jamaat-Shibir men barricaded the Chapainawabganj-Rajshahi highway with logs, and burnt tyres around 9:00am.
Another group of pickets chased law enforcers at the cinema hall intersection, damaged vehicles and threw brickbats at police.
At one stage, the pickets fired shots and threw cocktails at the law enforcers.
In retaliation, police and BGB personnel fired over 100 rounds of rubber bullets to disperse the attackers, said OC Wahidul.
Pro-hartal activists also put up barricades on Chapainawabganj-Rajshahi road at Abhoyer intersection, on Rajshahi-Naogaon road in Mohonpur upazila and Rajshahi-Natore road at Kharkhari around 9:00am.
In Jhenidah, Jamaat-Shibir men hacked to death a policeman and gouged out his eye at Sanatanpur police camp in Harinakundo upazila.
They attacked the police camp, forcing the on-duty policemen to retreat to the headquarters. They soon caught up with the policemen and hacked them indiscriminately.
The Jamaat activists hacked Constable Omar Faruque to death and gouged out his eye.
Several seriously injured policemen were admitted to the hospital.
Nearly 3,000 Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists also brought out a procession in Harinakundo upazila.
Jamaat men vandalised establishments in the upazila and set fire to government offices. Police lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse them.
At least one person was killed and seven others, including three BGB members, were injured in a clash between BGB personnel and Jamaat activists at Raichhpur in Sadar thana, two kilometres away from Satkhira town.
Lt Col Abu Basir of BGB in Satkhira said Jamaat men attacked two BGB vans near the border around 12:00pm, prompting the BGB personnel to fire shots.
A Jamaat supporter was killed and three BGB members were injured in the incident.
A clash between Jamaat men and Awami League activists ensued at Nalta, when ruling party men tried to prevent Jamaat-Shibir activists from carrying out vandalism.
In Chittagong, clashes and gunfights between Jamaat men and Rab personnel left at least 14 people injured at Shekher Khil in Banskhali upazila.
Vehicular movement on Chittagong-Cox's Bazar highway remained suspended, as Jamaat-Shibir men barricaded the highway with logs.
Meanwhile, pro-hartal activists in Pabna put up barricades on the Dhaka-Pabna and Pabna-Kushtia highways after Fajr prayers. They also attacked the house of an AL union unit president and five shops at Ataikula.
Jamaat-Shibir men also felled hundreds of roadside trees and blocked the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf-Arakan road since Saturday night. They also swooped on law enforcers at Ukhia upazila in Cox's Bazar, leaving at least five policemen injured.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Death Sentence Given to Bangladesh Islamist Sparks Fatal Clashes

Source: Bloomberg News
Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal sentenced a senior member of the country’s biggest Islamic party to death, sparking fatal violence nationwide.
A panel of judges yesterday found Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee guilty of committing crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s independence struggle in 1971, Syed Haider Ali, a prosecutor, said in comments on live television.
The tribunal’s first verdict since protesters began occupying a Dhaka square to demand capital punishment for the guilty was followed by clashes between activists of Jamaat and security forces, which the Daily Star newspaper reported left as many as 13 people dead, three of them policemen.
The International Crimes Tribunal’s rulings have reopened wounds from the war more than four decades ago that led to the founding of Bangladesh. Thousands of protesters demanding the most severe punishments for those convicted have occupied Shahbag square in central Dhaka since judges sentenced another Jamaat leader to life in prison on Feb. 5.
Sayedee, 73, who was in court when the verdict was delivered, faced 19 charges including the murder of civilians, collaborating with the Pakistani army to kill and torture unarmed people, torching homes and carrying out atrocities against the Hindu community, according to a court document detailing the indictment. Eight charges were proved beyond reasonable doubt, Ali said.
“It’s a victory day, it’s a day of joy. Through this verdict, the nation is seeing the resurgence of liberation war spirits,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters at the tribunal premises in Dhaka amid heightened security.

Fight Continues

Sayedee was sentenced to death on two specific charges of killing unarmed people in the southern district of Pirojpur, Alam said.
The judges -- led by Justice A.T.M. Fazle Kabir -- said in their summary of the verdict that international law imposed no statute of limitations on war crimes.
Demonstrators led by Imran Sarkar, convener of a group known as the Bloggers and Online Activists Network, called for the death penalty for Sayedee as they poured into the capital’s financial district of Motijheel Feb. 27.
“We won’t give up the fight until we get justice,” Sarkar said in a statement to the media. The protesters later relocated to Shahbag, the rallying point for anti-Jamaat activists. Jamaat called for a national strike, demanding Sayedee be freed.

Dhaka Rallies

At the end of British colonial rule in 1947, East and West Pakistan were separated by 2,000 kilometers (1,241 miles) of Indian territory. Pakistani troops in 1971 attempted to quell a nationalist uprising in the east that was triggered by the jailing of Hasina’s father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had led his Awami League to victory in elections. The war ended nine months later with the creation of Bangladesh after Indian forces helped defeat Pakistan’s army.
As crowds swelled in Shahbag, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed Feb. 17 empowered the tribunal to punish any organization whose members carried out crimes during the independence fight. The move sparked reports the government was preparing to ban Jamaat, an extremist group which sided with Pakistan during the war and whose members account for nine of the dozen people facing the tribunal.
Previously judges could only put individuals on trial. In another change, prosecutors can now appeal any of the panel’s verdicts.

Historic Wrong

In a sign of the widespread anger the alleged mass murders, rapes and abductions four decades ago can still provoke, the Dhaka protest site has drawn bloggers, writers, singers, teachers, students, and the country’s cricket team. Police say the gathering has at times swelled to 100,000 people.
While the prime minister says the tribunal is about righting an historic wrong, opponents have called the trials politically motivated. Jamaat is an ally of Hasina’s main rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and won nearly 5 percent of votes cast in the nation’s parliamentary election in 2008, according to the Bangladesh Election Commission.
The Shahbag protests began after the tribunal Feb. 5 gave a jail term to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
The protesters defend their call for the death penalty for the guilty by saying that people like Mollah would be freed from jail if Jamaat once again has a role in government.
Sayedee was involved in the abduction, confinement and rape of women, including Hindus, in Pirojpur, according to the court document. He also forced some Hindus to convert to Islam, an act the court considers a crime against humanity.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Exposting Jamati Lies

Jamat is putting out propaganda items through websites and facebooks to hide its past.  If you would like to read this investigative presentation in Bengali, please click here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Al-Jazeera on Shahbag Movement

The Stream - Bangladesh's rising voices is presented by Al Jazeera's English Channel featuring Shahbag Movement . It shows how the young generation has pioneered this momentous event through virtual advocacy. Watch this 35 minute long video presented on 19 February 2013: