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Hefazat wants to hold talks with govt over sculpture issue

  • Published at 04:37 pm December 10th, 2020
File photo of the vandalized sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the intersection of five roads in Kushtia city on December 5, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Hefazat leader Nurul Islam demands the government withdraw cases against party leaders

Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh has expressed its interest in resolving the debate over sculptures by holding talks with the government.

The Hefazat leaders are trying to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the issue, they said at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital on Thursday.

Hefazat leader and Befaqul Madarisil Arabia Bangladesh (BEFAQ)’s Secretary General Maulana Mahfuzul Haque said that they had requested the government for a dialogue to find a solution.

Replying to a query, he said the date for the meeting with the prime minister had not been fixed yet. The party was trying to contact her and was hopeful that the meeting would be held in the fastest possible time.  

Hefazat's Nayeb-e-Ameer Maulana Nurul Islam, in a written statement, demanded that the government withdraw the cases against the Hefazat leaders.

Asking the government to control all Islamophobes, who took refuge under the guise of “secularism”, he said otherwise religious people would take to the streets to stop this insidious quarter.

He also urged the government not to go against the faith and teachings of Islam and avoid what he called the path of state-sponsored misguidance to spread paganism.  

Nurul Islam said they wanted punishment of those who had vandalized sculpture of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Kushtia but they had doubts about the authenticity of the video footage.

On November 5, an under construction sculpture of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was vandalized in Kushtia. Police have arrested four people in this connection.

Meanwhile, the debate over sculpture gained momentum when Hefazat leaders threatened to throw Bangabandhu's sculpture into the Buriganga.

However, the Awami League and other political parties along with socio-cultural organizations have continued their protests against the anti-sculpture groups.

On December 5, the Muktijuddho Mancha decided to file a sedition case against Mamunul Haque, joint secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, and Faizul Karim, nayeb-e-ameer of Islami Andolan Bangladesh, for opposing the installation of the sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

On Wednesday, a defamation case was filed against former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman, BNP General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Islamic leaders Babungari, Mamunul, and Faizul for allegedly abetting anti-sculpture remarks.

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