LEADERS of eight Islamic parties and law enforcers have strongly claimed that Jamaat-Shibir men were there during Friday’s countrywide demonstration demanding punishment to “atheist” bloggers of Shahbagh protest, The Daily Star reports.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday they said Jamaat-Shibir activists blending in with leaders and activists of the eight Islamist parties, which had organised Friday’s demonstration, carried out attacks on law enforcers and journalists, especially that took place in front of the capital’s Baitul Mokarram mosque.
On Friday, the agitators burned the national flag and vandalised Shaheed minars at several places in the country to counter the mass movement demanding capital punishment to the war criminals of 1971.
This drew huge flak for Jamaat and Shibir that had extended open support to the Islamist parties’ agitation against the Shahbagh movement.
Most of the mainstream electronic and print media blamed Jamaat-Shibir for attacking on law enforcers and acting in disguise under the banner of the eight Islamist parties.
Jamaat, a key component of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, refuted the allegation.
Since September last year, Jamaat-Shibir men have been applying new strategies, including hit-and-run attacks on law enforcers, and vandalising and torching public vehicles, demanding the International Crimes Tribunal to be made void and release of its leaders facing war crimes charges in the tribunal.
Although Jamaat has been saying that they were not with the recent movement of eight Islamist parties’, a number of leaders of the Islamist parties yesterday claimed that Jamaat-Shibir men had intruded in their Friday’s protest across the country and were involved in provocative activities.
Footage of a private television channel on Friday’s protest at the national mosque shows a Jamaat assistant secretary general coming out of the mosque with protestors immediately after the Juma prayers.
Well informed sources identified the Jamaat secretary general as Mujibur Rahman, who according to the sources had been arrested in January and came out on bail later. Law enforcers arrested him again on Friday.
A staff of Jamaat central office, however, denied the fact.
International Affairs Secretary of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon Abu Kasim Kasimi told The Daily Star, “What can we do if Jamaat-Shibir men intrude in our movement and carry out subversive activities to realise their demand?”
Newly-elected Chairman of Islami Oikya Jote Abdul Latif Nejami also echoed Kasimi and added that a large number of people took part in the protest in front of Baitul Mokarram and Jamaat-Shibir men were likely to blend in with them.
Ahmadullah Ashraf, ameer of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon which is leading the eight Islamic parties, on Tuesday told this correspondent that Jamaat men might have been involved in Friday’s mayhem across the country including torching the national flag and vandalising Shaheed minars.
Apart from the three leaders, some other leaders of the eight Islamist parties wishing anonymity also spoke of Jamaat-Shibir the same way.
On Friday, Deputy Commissioner (Motijheel zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Nazmul Alam told reporters that Jamaat-Shibir activists posing as general devotees had attacked on police and committed other destructive activities around the national mosque.
Yesterday, he said that in primary investigation they had got the evidence that Jamaat-Shibir men had been there during Friday’s violence in the capital.
“We have arrested more than 172 people in connection with Friday’s anarchy in the city and according to our primary findings, some of the arrestees are linked with Jamaat-Shibir,” he added.