“We’ll stay here (Wasa intersection) until a decision comes from our Dhaka rally on Saturday,” said Azizul Haque Islamabadi, organing secretary of Hefazat-e- Islam.
Inter-district bus services from different major districts, including Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Bogra, Sylhet and Barisal towards Dhaka remained suspended since morning for “security concern” due to a hartal call.
Meanwhile, leaders of Hefazat-e-Islam alleged that the bus services were suspended so that their activists cannot reach Dhaka.
Azizul Haque said the government in a planned way tried to obstruct their long march programme but about one lakh activists, including senior leaders of the organisation, have already reached the capital for making their programme a success.
Intelligence sources said over 50,000 supporters of Hefazat-e-Islam are already in Dhaka.
The Hefazat-e-Islam men were scheduled to start their long march towards Dhaka to press home their 13-point demand, including the arrest and punishment of ‘atheist’ bloggers.
When the activists heard that the transport operators returned the money taken for the vehicles rented to join the long march, they gathered at Jamiatul Falah Mosque ground and staged a demonstration at about 10am.
Meanwhile, activists of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh assaulted three personnel of Channel Ekattor at Wasa intersection in the port city on Friday afternoon.
Witnesses said the activists of the Islamists’ platform were staging demonstrations at Jamiatul Falah ground protesting the government’s alleged bid to foil their long march programme.
At one stage, a group of unruly activists swooped on senior staff reporter Muhim Mizan, cameraman Rajib Barua and office assistant Babun Paul of the private television channel at about 2:15 pm and manhandled them.
Later, police with the help of senior Hefazat-e-Islam men rescued them.
Besides, the Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee’s Chittagong unit enforced a 27-hour hartal from 3pm Friday.
Twenty-five pro-liberation orgnisations enforced a countrywide 24-hour hartal from 6.00pm on Friday apparently to resist Hefazate Islam’s long march and demanding a ban on Jamaat-Shibir politics.
The Hefazat-e-Islam leaders also threatened to announce a nonstop hartal if the hartal called by the pro-government organisations is not withdrawn by Thursday evening.