The Ganajagaran Mancha has given the government 20 hours to sever diplomatic ties with Pakistan.
Imran H Sarker, spokesperson for the Mancha – created by the youth-led mass uprising – made the announcement on Wednesday evening from a place which is merely a half kilometre away from the Pakistan High Commission.
“If the government does not cut off its diplomatic ties with Pakistan by this time, we will again take out a procession and lay siege to the Pakistan embassy at 3pm on Thursday,” he said.
He called on the Mancha activists to march down the streets in processions in their areas across the country at the same time on Thursday.
In a procession, taken out from beneath Taher Tower at 3pm, Mancha activists marched towards the High Commission protesting against Pakistan’s reaction to the hanging of war criminal Abdul Quader Molla.
But police intercepted them in several points.
When the procession was halted at the main road at Gulshan-2, the marchers congregated there chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.
Later, when they again tried to march forward, they were intercepted for the third time in front of Al-Falah Bank at 3:30pm.
After a scuffle, they managed to enter the diplomatic zone at 3:40pm.
Police yet again stopped the demonstrators in a place between Australian School and German embassy. Later they sat there and started shouting slogans.
Sarker condemned the police ‘attack’ on the Ganajagaran Mancha activists and demanded immediate withdrawal of police officers from there.
But later, he said, “Police have offered apology for their highhandedness and have also assured us of taking steps against those policemen who were responsible for the attack.”
“We hope the government will take steps against the police officers and set examples.”
After announcing the Thursday’s programme, the Ganajagaran Mancha activists left the road they had been occupying.
Freedom fighters, families of the martyred and war-wounded veterans took part in the procession. They along with women and students started gathering under Taher Tower at Gulshan around 2:30pm.
Huge police presence was also seen there. Police also brought water cannon to avoid any disorder.
A brief rally was held at the main road of Gulshan-2 when police intercepted the Mancha activists there.
Jahangirnagar University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Anwar Hossain said, “This is Bangladesh, not Pakistan. Pakistan will have to offer apology for its behaviour.”
He also demanded Pakistan hand over to Bangladesh those army men who had engaged in the genocide during the Liberation War and were still alive.
Prof Hossain said, “We want to try those Pakistani war criminals.”
Sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhasini said, “We hate Pakistan. They have to understand that punishing the war criminals is the demand of the people of this country.”
Pakistani flags were set ablaze during the rally.
When police intercepted the procession for the third time, thousands of Mancha activists chanted anti-Pakistan slogans, circling around Bangladesh’s national flag.
The area reverberated with slogans like ‘Direct action against Pakistan’, ‘We will not allow Pakistan mission in this Bangla’, and ‘Why does Pakistan hurt when Quader Molla hangs?’
The Mancha activists also held up placards that said ‘Pakistan, don’t try to save your dogs’, ‘Pakistan, go to hell’, ‘Boycott Paki goods’, ‘Pakistan must apologise for ’71 genocide’, ‘We demand apology’, ‘Failed state Pakistan, we reject your motion’, ‘Oil your own machine’, ‘No diplomatic ties with Pakistan’ and ‘Pakistan, stop your baah.’
Many protestors hurled shoes at the Pakistani mission.
At least three persons, including Bappaditya Basu, one of the leaders of the Shahbagh-based movement, were injured as police charged batons on the Mancha activists during their march.
Abul Kalam Azad, Vice-President of Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree’s Central Committee, said Basu had been admitted to United Hospital in Dhaka’s Gulshan.
Source: Bd news24