South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Capital reverberates all day long with the demand of citizens from all walks of life

Published in the Daily Star on Jan. 25 ::

“Stop violence in the name of political movement” was the silent cry reverberating through the streets in front of Jatiya Press Club, Central Shaheed Minar and Bangladesh National Museum throughout the day yesterday.

People from all walks of life — doctors, lawyers, cricketers, businesspeople, actors, performers and family members of arson and crude bomb attack victims — began to gather before the press club from 9:30am with banners which depicted pictures of victims and burning vehicles and carried slogans “This is not politics, this is terrorism, murder”.

About 400 people arrived at the unannounced programme, reacting to the recent arson attack on a passenger bus in Jatrabari on Friday night which left around 30 persons injured.

After about an hour, they silently set out towards Central Shaheed Minar and stayed there for some time.

Nine organisations including Sectors Commanders Forum –’71 (SCF), Bangladesh Truck Covered Van Owner-Workers’ Oikkya Parishad, Society for Establishment of Human Rights, and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods also formed separate human chains in front of the press club with the same call. 

Meanwhile, some 150 people under the banner of Samprodayikota Jongibadh Birodhi Mancha formed a human chain in front of the museum around 3:00pm denouncing the killing of innocent people in the name of movement.

“Movement and dialogue can take place in a democratic country but killing people cannot be a part of politics,” said journalist Haroon Habib, also the SCF acting secretary general, before the press club.

“We would request the government to sit for dialogue if you (BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia) leave Jamaat,” said Lt Col (retd) Abu Osman Chowdhury, vice president of the forum formed by sector commanders of the Liberation War demanding trial of war criminals.

He called upon the young generation to resist the ongoing blockade of the BNP-led 20-party alliance by laying siege to the houses of the alliance leaders and activists.

The forum’s former general secretary Lt Gen MA Harun called upon the alliance to leave aside politics of violence. “Governments should be changed through a democratic method with people’s consensus, not through killings,” he said.



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