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Dhaka Tribune

Jamaat calls hartal for Wednesday

Update : 30 Aug 2016, 11:36 PM
Jamaat's acting secretary general Dr Shafikur Rahman announced the nationwide shutdown through a statement showed in their website on Tuesday morning. Ambulance, hearse, hospital, fire service and vehicles carrying Hajj pilgrims and newspapers will remain out of purview of the hartal, it said. Besides, the party is going to hold several programmes across the country demanding the release of Mir Quasem, central executive committee member of Jamaat, and other leaders. Jamaat issued the statement soon after a five-member Appellate Division panel headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha had reinstated death penalty rejecting Mir Quasem’s review plea. Shafikur Rahman said: “The government gradually kills Jamaat's top leaders in a planned way. Mir Quasem Ali is a victim of the government's conspiracy. The war crime allegations against our leader are baseless and the government tries to kill him implicating in false cases.” The five-member bench conducted the hearing of the review plea on August 24 and 28. A top Jamaat-e-Islami leader and financier, Quasem filed the review petition after the apex court published its full verdict and the International Crimes Tribunal issued the death warrant against him on June 6. The war crimes tribunal sentenced Quasem, now 64, to death on November 3, 2014 on two charges including killing seven people after abduction in Chittagong. He was also awarded a total of 72-year imprisonment on eight other proven charges of abduction, conspiracy and planning. Later, the Appellate Division upheld the death sentence on March 9. Quasem’s family and his party terms the judgement a “judicial killing.” A key player behind the formation of notorious al-Badr force in Chittagong during the Liberation War, Quasem had set up makeshift torture camps at different places in the port city including Daleem Hotel in Andorkilla area. He was known as “Bangali Khan” (Khan referred to as Pakistani occupation forces) for his atrocities. According to the government, Quasem has also spent a large amount of money to appoint US-based lobbyists to make the war crimes trials controversial.
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