Jamaat violence claims 42 in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Mar 1 : A cycle of violence roiled Bangladesh claiming at least 42 lives, including of six policemen, since Thursday after the Islamist Jamaat-Shibir activists clashed with law enforcers to protest against the death penalty given to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for 1971 war crimes, said reports.
The 73-year-old Sayeedi was sentenced to death Thursday by a tribunal for several crimes like mass killings, torture, rape and looting and forcible religious conversion during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 when the country attained freedom from Pakistan after a bloody struggle that left countless dead and thousands of women outraged.
While, Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir claimed that 20 of the dead were the members of their party, the clashes also took the lives of a college teacher and two Jubo League activists.
After the verdict was announced, angry protesters attacked a police outpost in Gaibandha killing three policemen on the spot.
In Chittagong, a constable was slashed with a knife making it the deadliest day since the first verdict was delivered on January 21, reported The Daily Star.
According to reports, the activists also beat to death an Awami League (AL) supporter in Sundarganj upazila of Gaibandha Friday morning.
The deceased has been identified as 22-year-old Nurul Islam, a local businessman, Star reported.
Infact, Jamaat-Shibir men were out on the streets to enforce a daylong shutdown in relation to Shahbagh movement calling for capital punishment to war criminals, even before the verdict was delivered.
The terror received a fillip in Dhaka as some unknown groups reportedly planted a series of bombs in the residential neighbourhoods of Mirpur-1, Kafrul, Mohammadpur, Motijheel, Abdullahpur, Uttara and Khilgaon.
Several vehicles were damaged in the clashes with administration and the total incident left a mark of fear over the Bangladesh citizens, bringing back memories of 1971 Liberation war.
Jamaat is an alliance partner of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Khaleda Zia.