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Dhaka Tribune

Chhatra League protests vandalization of Bangabandhu sculpture

Activists of the ruling Awami League have demonstrated all across the country protesting the incident

Update : 06 Dec 2020, 02:35 PM

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has demonstrated on Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding exemplary punishment and arrest of those involved in the vandalization of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's sculpture in Kushtia.

Several hundreds of leaders and activists of different unit of Chhatra League gathered in front of Dhaka University's Madhur Canteen and later marched towards Raju memorial sculpture in Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) area where they held a protest rally under central unit’s banner on Sunday.

While addressing the rally, Lekhak Bhattacharjee, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League said: “Those who are protesting for demolishing the sculptures in the country have crossed their limit. Chhatra League will repel these anti-sculpture protestors.”

He urged the Chhatra League men across the country to be conscious about political vengeance related speeches under any waz mahfil.

“If anyone trying to do so, the Chhatra League men will stop them,” he added.

Lekhak demanded immediate arrest of the culprits who were involved with the incident in Kushtia -- vandalizing Bangabandhu’s sculpture, and urged the authorities to bring them under justice.

Chhatra League President Al-Nahean Khan Joy, DU unit President Sonjit Chandra Das and General Secretary Md Saddam Hossain were present among others.  

Meanwhile, activists of the ruling Awami League have demonstrated all across the country, including Savar, Chapainawabganj, Tangail and Jhenaidah, protesting the incident. They also demanded exemplary punishment of those involved in the vandalization.

Call for countrywide protest

On Saturday evening, Bangladesh Jubo League, the youth front of the ruling Awami League, and Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the party announced through a press release that they will stage demonstrations across the country on Sunday.

Also read - Sculpture fiasco: Jubo League, Chhatra League call countrywide protests

In another press statement, Chhatra League announced about the procession they will bring out and the rally they will hold on the Dhaka University campus around 11:30am.

Besides, all the units of the student wing across the country were asked to stage demonstrations in this regard.

Chhatra League brought out a procession and held a rally on Dhaka University's TSC area on Sunday, December 6, 2020 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

In the early hours of Saturday, miscreants smashed the under construction sculpture of Bangabandhu at the five roads' intersection in Kushtia town. The face and hands of the sculpture were vandalized.

The incident took place amid protests by various Islamist organizations across the country over the construction of Bangabandhu's sculpture.

Also read - Unfinished Bangabandhu sculpture vandalized in Kushtia

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

Muktijuddho Mancha, the pro-Liberation War platform, on Saturday 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 a sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Recently, the Hefazat leader threatened to throw Bangabandhu's sculpture into the Buriganga. He was later backed by several other Islamist leaders, including Faizul, leading to an uproar across the country.

‘Attack on Bangabandhu sculpture no different from attacking us’

Expressing grave concern over the vandalism of an under-construction sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Kushtia, Dhaka University Teachers’ Association or DUTA has termed the act an attack on the people and against the state.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the teachers’ organization said: “We believe Bangabandhu and Bangladesh are inseparable. No evil forces can ever remove the name of Bangabandhu from our hearts. We consider the vandalism of the statue as being an attack on entire Bangladesh."

“On December 5 in 1969, Bangabandhu renamed the then East Pakistan as Bangladesh and unfortunately, some miscreants vandalized his sculpture in the early hours of the same day, after 51 years, causing our hearts to bleed,” the statement reads.

“We think the attack is the outcome of continued provocative anti-statue remarks made by Islamists across the country in the past few days,” they added, warning that such an act will never be tolerated in future and if needed, the entire nation will unite to fight evil forces.

The DUTA will hold a human chain at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla sculpture on the university campus around 11:30am on Monday.

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