Hand in hand in candlelight vigil

February 15, 2013

Shahbagh Protests
Hand in hand in candlelight vigil
People joined a candlelight vigil the protesters held in the Shahbagh crossing by lighting candles across the country on Thursday evening symbolically dispelling the darkness war criminals had cast on the nation.
Protesters, after the candlelight vigil, said that they would hold a grand rally at Shahbagh at 3:00pm today. The next programmes would be announced at the rally.
The protests at Shahbagh, which passed the 10th consecutive day on Thursday demanding death penalty for all war criminals, held the candlelight vigil at 7:00pm amid one minute’s silence, in memory of three million people who laid down their
lives and two lakh women who faced torture by the Pakistan army and their collaborators during the war of independence in 1971.
Protesters also paid respect to an Agrani Bank lift operator man who, after being wounded in an attack by Jamaat and Shibir activists on Wednesday, died in hospital on Thursday.
People from all walks of life indoors, at work and on the streets across the country lighted candles as the clock struck seven evening. Protesters at Shahbagh also brought out a procession holding torches to push for their demand.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, also joined in by lighting candles in Gana Bhaban, her residence.
Lawmakers, government and non-government officials, and ordinary people from one end to the other of the country came out lining along the roads to light candles with the day’s transaction coming to a halt for a minute.
About 50 students leaders of anti-autocrat movement of the 1980s joined the candlelight vigil at the protests, spearheaded by the youths.
Former student leaders included former DUCSU vice-president Sultan Muhammad Manusr, former DUCSU general secretary Mustak Hossain, former Chhatra Union leaders Anwarul Haq and Ruhin Hossain Prince, former JSD Chhatra League leaders Shafi Ahmed and Abul Hasib Khan, former Chhatra Samity leader Abdullah Tarek, former Chhatra Maitree leader Ragib Ahsan Munna and former Chhatra Front leader Bazlur Rashid Firoz.
Protesters raised their hands on a countdown and lighted candles for several minutes before breaking the silence shouting ‘Jay Bangla, Jay Bangla.’
Other popular slogans such as ‘Phansi, phansi, phansi chai, Quader Mollar phansi chai’ (Hang Quader Molla), ‘Ka te Quader Molla, tui razakar, (Ka for Quader Molla, you are a collaborator),’ ‘Janaganer dabi, Quader Mollar phansi (People want death penalty for Quader Molla),’ ‘Jamaat-e-Islami made in Pakistan’ and ‘Tomar amar thikana, Padma, Meghna, Jamuna (Our address is Padma, Meghna and Jamuna)’ followed.
Students leaders and bloggers at a meeting earlier in the day decided to hold the rally this afternoon.
Some leaders and protesters told New Age that ruling alliance student organisations had proposed that they should decide how long they would continue protesting in this manner as it was inconveniencing people and patients being treated in BSMMU and BIRDEM hospitals, close to the protest venue.
The meeting did not make any final decision on this and the leaders are expected to sit again today to make a decision, a leader said.
Fine arts students distributed to people copies of a speech of Jahanara Imam against the collaborators.
Actor Subarna Mostafa and singer Haider Hossain joined the protests on the day. Mahfuja Akhter, a housewife attending the protests, said that she had finished her daily chores early so that she could be a part of the candlelight vigil.
People of Enayetpur in Sirajganj on the day distributed 4,000 pithas to protesters in the afternoon.
Lawmakers held joined the candlelight vigil by lighting candles on the south plaza of the national assembly complex during the maghrib prayer break. The deputy speaker, Shawkat Ali, led the lawmakers. Political parties held similar programmes in places across the capital Dhaka.
BGMEA officials said that apparel workers across the country had also joined the candlelight vigil.
Cricketers playing the Bangladesh Premier League also lighted candles at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Reports reaching from outside the capital said the candlelight vigil was held with similar fervour in all the places, inlcuding Chittagong, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Kishoreganj, Sylhet, Chandpur, Brahmanbaria, Bandarban, Dinajpur, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj, Comilla, Satkhira, Khulna, Kushtia, Gazipur and Bogra.
Students and teachers of educational institutions such as the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Jahangirnagar University, Chittagong University, Rajshahi University, Khulna University, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology in Gazipur, Dhaka Medical College and Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College in Bogra, observed the programme.
In Chittagong, people lighted candles in front of the Chittagong Press Club, in Sylhet at the Central Shaheed Minar, in Rajshahi in Alupatti Square, in Barisal in the Ashwini Kumar Town Hall and in Rangpur in the Town Hall.
The programme was also observed in Feroz-Jahangir Square in Mymansingh, in the thana crossing in Sherpur, at Rangmahal in Kishoreganj. People of Chandpur, Brahmanbaria, Bandarban, Dinajpur, Moulvibazar and Sunamganj held programmes near shaheed minars.
Expatriate Bangladeshis also held candlelight vigil expressing solidarity with the Shahbagh protests.

Courtesy of New Age

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