Bangladesh's Jamaat gives strike call
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party Friday gave a call to observe a nationwide strike Monday in protest against the death sentence awarded to its chief Matiur Rahamn Nizami in a 10-truck arms haul case.
Shafiqur Rahman, the party's acting secretary general, made the announcement about the dawn-to-dusk strike in a statement Friday night, Xinhua reported.
He described the court verdict as "a conspiracy to kill his party chief" by levelling "fabricated" charges against Nizami.
Nizami, a former industry minister during the BNP's 2001-6 term, along with 13, was Thursday sentenced to death and life in prison in two cases filed over the arms haul.
Indian separatist outfit United Liberation Front of Asom's (ULFA) breakaway faction leader Paresh Baruah is also among these 14. They are accused of smuggling into the country 10 truckloads of arms almost 10 years ago, an operation in which Pakistan's Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) was also reportedly involved.
A huge cache of arms was recovered April 2, 2004, at the jetty of the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd. (CUFL) near the Karnaphuli river while being loaded on 10 trucks for delivery to ULFA.
These included 4,930 sophisticated firearms of different types, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 27,020 grenades, 2,000 grenade-launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and over 11 million bullets.
It was the largest ever seizure of an arms consignment in the country.
(Posted on 01-02-2014)