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Dhaka Tribune

Government will fall if siege foiled: Hefazat

Update : 24 Apr 2013, 04:15 AM

The Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh is now planning to go for stronger agitation to topple the government if its pre-planned Dhaka siege programme scheduled for May 5 is obstructed.

Activists and leaders of the umbrella platform of Islamic organisations also expressed their frustration over the government “downplaying” their 13-point demand charter. The government had initially said that they would consider the demands, which include a ban on free interaction of men and women in public, but later moved away from the idea.

The platform’s central leader Mufti Fayez Ullah said: “If the government bars our Dhaka siege movement, we will find a new way to topple the government.”

The platform’s secretary, Junayed Babu nagari, told the Dhaka Tribune:“Our demands are clear. We cannot go home without success.Capital punishment for atheist bloggers is no longer our main demand. Instead we call for re-establishment of full faith and believe on Almighty Allah in the constitution.”

He continued that at least five of their demands, including cancellation of women and education policy, and recognition of Qawmi Madrassa certification have to be met.

Hefazat leader Mowlana Jafrullah Khan told the Dhaka Tribune that even though the government has arrested some “atheist” bloggers, they also detained Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman and allegedly tortured him in custody.

“We are not sure those arrested  were really anti-Islamic bloggers. We want to see the government arresting all of the bloggers who write or post against Islam.”

The Chittagong-based Islamist platform was seen pressing since the last monthfor their 13-point demand charter which included capital punishment for ‘anti Islamic atheist bloggers’.

Before their rally in Dhaka on April 6, the government urged the Islamist body to add a demand to their list, that of assuring highest punishment for those who committed war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War.

A fraction of the platform was keen on accepting the government proposal and including the demand in their list. However, another fraction opposed the idea and the demand was not carried.

Hefazat-e-Islam came under the media spotlight by countering the Shahbagh uprising, which was demanding capital punishment for war criminals. They alleged that the demonstrators were making derogatory remarks on Islam and its Prophet Muhammad (SM).

The organisation was planning to siege Dhaka on May 5, if their demands are not met within that deadline. They also said that they would escalate their programme to a full-scale“oust government” movement if the government bars their activists from entering the capital city.

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