Police foil Ganajagaran Mancha march towards Pak HCStaff Correspondent
At least 20 activists of Ganajagaran Mancha were injured as police broke up a procession foiling their attempt to approach the Pakistan high commission at Gulshan in the capital on Thursday afternoon.
The police detained eight activists during the protest and later released two of them.
Ganajagaran Mancha spokesman Imran H Sarkar was among the activists injured in the police action. He was admitted to United Hospital.
The Ganajagaran Mancha organised the march in protest at Pakistan’s interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs and to press for severing diplomatic ties with Islamabad.
The police charged batons to disperse the young activists after they tried to break through the police barricade several times at Gulshan diplomatic zone. Traffic remained suspended in the busy area for about two hours.
In protest, the mancha announced protest rallies across the country for today. The youth-led platform will hold the rally centrally at Shahbagh intersection at 3:00pm.
Police and witnesses said the protesters gathered at Gulshan 2 intersection around 3:00pm to march towards the Pakistan high commission but police stopped them causing scuffles between the marchers and the police. At least 20 activists were injured, including Imran H Sarkar, freedom fighter Abul Kalam Azad, 70, Tarana Halim, Arif Noor, Mahmudul Haque
Munshi and Sohan Sobhan, convener of Chhatra Oikyo Forum, in the scuffles. They were admitted to United Hospital at Gulshan, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital.
Police detained at least eight people, including Aranya Azad, son of the late writer Humayun Azad, Shammi Akter, who became known as ‘slogan girl’ of the Shahbagh youth movement along with Lucky Akter, dramatist Rawshan Ara Nipa, Jahangir, Mahmudul Hasan, Shipra Bose and Shaila Ahmed Lopa.
The police later freed Shipra Bose and Shaila Ahmed Lopa.
Later, the mancha activists tried to regroup and start the march at least four times but police foiled the attempts.
Imran H Sarker alleged that the agents of Jamaat-Shibir in the police had pounced on their peaceful procession. Even women activists were not spared, he added.
Police denied the allegation.
Shahabuddin Khan, joint commissioner (crime and operation) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the police had not attacked the procession rather tried to remove the gathering from the busy intersection.
‘It is a diplomatic zone… None can gather here without permission of DMP’, he said.
Maruf Rasul, an organiser of Ganajagaran Mancha, claimed that at least 100 activists were injured and 20 others were detained during the incident.
He also alleged that policemen had also dishonoured the national flag.
In protest, he, at a news briefing at United Hospital in the evening, announced the rallies across the country for today and vowed to launch tougher movement if their demands were not met.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ganajagaran Mancha activists besieged the Pakistan high commission defying police obstruction. They issued an ultimatum to the government to severe diplomatic ties and other relations with Pakistan in 20 hours or face similar protests.
The youth-led platform campaigning for capital punishment for all war criminals made the demand after the Pakistan national assembly on Monday (December 16) adopted a resolution expressing ‘concern’ at the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla for committing crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971.
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