Shahbagh protesters hold rally in Bangladesh
Dhaka: Protestors seeking death penalty for war criminals held a rally here on Monday, the 21st day of such demonstrations to press their demands.
The rally began at Mirpur intersection of Dhaka as people from different walks of life thronged the venue to demand an end to what they described as "business in the name of religion", thedailystar.net reported.
Since Monday morning, people from different walks of life began to throng the Shahbagh intersection, popularly known as Projonmo Chattar, where youths chanted revolutionary slogans.
The movement began on February 5, soon after Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in prison for rape, killing and genocide in 1971 during country's liberation war. People became angry on seeing the image of Mollah smiling and holding up two fingers in a "V" sign as he was led from the court.
Bloggers and Online Activist Network initiated the protest that soon turned into a mass movement.
Thousands of demonstrators Sunday took out a procession in the capital to protest the countrywide daylong shutdown called by eight Islamist parties.
On February 21, the demonstrators held a huge rally, demanding capital punishment to all war criminals, including Mollah.
Black flags were hoisted on February 18 in memory of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, an activist of ongoing Shahbagh movement as the current wave of demonsterations is called, who was stabbed to death on February 15.
On March 26, 1971, the people of then East Pakistan began a military campaign against Pakistani armed forces following largescale killings of civilians opposed to strong-arm rule of Islamabad.
The civil war led to the eventual India-Pakistan war in December 1971, leading to the break-up of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.