AS Jamaat-Shibir and their sympathisers’ activists unleashed a reign of terror targeting the Shahbagh movement, the youths in their thousands returned to the Projonmo Chattar on Friday as a bold response that they can not be tamed by violence.
And the crowd at Shahbagh continued to swell much bigger than before by the evening — less than 20 hours of wrapping up the movement from the Chattar in Shahbagh.
At least four people were killed and over 150 inured, many of them with bullets, when Jamaat-Shibir activists clashed with police and ruling Awami League men in the capital and elsewhere in the country after Juma prayers on Friday.
Imran H Sarker, a key organiser of the Shahbagh demonstration, meanwhile, issued an ultimatum to the government to arrest Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the daily Amar Desh, for instigating the violence.
Otherwise, the demonstrators threatened to go for tougher programme.
Imran said they had decided to continue the Shahbagh demonstrations round the clock until their demands are met.
The Shahbagh protesters also demanded punishment to the attackers of journalists during Friday’s violence by 24 hours, he said.
People from all walks of life started converging on the venue at Shahbagh around 2:00pm chanting slogans like “Joy Bangla” and apparently no announcement was made for the vigil unlike the one in February 5 called by Bloggers and Online Activists Network.
The place has got back all its vibrancy as nearly 20,000 people, irked by the Jamaat-Shibir violence across the country, have joined the demonstrations by 7:00pm.
Earlier on Thursday, issuing an ultimatum to the government to bring war crimes charges against Jamaat-e-Islami and initiate the legal process by March 26 to ban the party, the Shahbagh protesters announced a series of countrywide programmes beginning Friday.
The declaration came at a mammoth rally in the capital’s Shahbagh in the evening. The rally wound up the nonstop sit-in that began at the intersection on February 5 demanding capital punishment to all the war criminals.
Late at night, Imran H Sarker, a key organiser of the movement, said, “I announce the end of the rally. I request you to go home and we will see you at 10:00am tomorrow [today].”
However, many people were still at the venue around midnight.