18-party human walls slam killings, enforced disappearancesStaff Correspondent
The opposition alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Tuesday formed human walls in the capital and elsewhere of the country in protest against killings and enforced disappearances of opposition leaders and activists under the present regime.
The 18-party alliance on December 30 announced the human wall programme to vent its outrage at the enforced disappearance of BNP leaders M Ilias Ali and Chowdhury Alam and the killing of Bishwajit Das as well as other killings and enforced disappearances during the rule of the Awami League-led government.
The demonstrations across the country were held peacefully, with virtually no banner or placard seen in the capital protesting the enforced disappearance of Ilias and Chowdhury and the killing of Bishwajit. No slogan was heard from the human wall on the issues as well.
Leaders and activists of the BNP and its allies held banners and placards mainly focused on non-party caretaker government and release of their detained leaders.
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, a key component of the opposition line-up, and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir pressed for the release of their top leaders facing war crimes trials by holding banners and their photos.
Jamaat and Shibir activists chanted slogans and distributed leaflets against what they termed the illegal war crimes tribunals.
However, at one or two points of the human wall in Old Dhaka, the participants were seen holding placards that branded the government a champion of enforced disappearance, abduction, and killing.
As part of the programme, the alliance formed a human wall in the capital stretching from Mohakhali flyover to Dhaka court area via Tejgaon, Bangladesh Film Development Corporation crossroads, Maghbazar, Ramna, Kakrail, Matyasha Bhaban, High Court, Curzon Hall, Railway Hospital, Gulistan, North-South Road, Bangsal, and Dholaikhal crossroads.
The demonstration began at 11:00am and continued till BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia passed through the route to Dhaka court area, where she appeared before a court in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
She left her Gulshan residence at around 12:15pm and reached the court at 2:10pm.
Law-enforcers including police were deployed at various points of the human-wall route to check any untoward incidents.
City commuters had to face traffic congestions in some places due to the demonstration.
Alliance leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Hannan Shah, Mirza Abbas, Rafiqul Islam Mia, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Amanullah Aman, Abdus Salam, Abdul Latif Nezami, Shafiul Alam Prodhan, and Redwan Ahmed, among others, took part in the programme.
BNP spokesman Tariqul islam supervised the human wall.
BNP leaders termed the programme a huge success and called on the government to concede their key demand of holding the next general elections under a non-party caretaker government.
Tariqul Islam, a BNP standing committee member, told reporters that people demonstrated a no-confidence in the government by joining in the human wall.
He said the government should accept people’s demand and quit power to make way for holding the next parliament elections under a non-party neutral government.
Another BNP standing committee member, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, asked the government to bring an amendment to the Constitution to hold the next general elections under a non-party government.
New Age Correspondent in Sylhet reported that alliance activists formed a human wall in between the city’s Court Point and Ambarkhana.
In Barisal, several thousand leaders and activists of the alliance formed a human wall stretching from Nazirer Pole to Amtala crossroads, reported our Barisal correspondent, adding that the Jamaat-e-Islami demanded release of their top leaders facing the war crimes trials.
New Age staff correspondent in Chittagong reported that leaders and activists of the BNP-led alliance formed human walls at different parts of the road running from Patenga to the Third Karnaphuli Bridge.
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