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Youth are responsible for revolution in many countries in different parts of the world. Similarly thousands of youth in Bangladesh sit down on streets and refuse to move until their demands for the capital punishment of War Criminals are met with.
The sit-in started on Tuesday afternoon, in response to the verdict of life imprisonment for Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, who was a war criminal during the Liberation War of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971, and the demonstration lasted throughout the night. The whole sit-in was organized by bloggers and social network activists.
The spirit of this non-violent protest spread throughout the whole country with sit-ins and demonstrations taking place in Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Barisal, Rajbari, Noakhali and Narsingdi. It seemed as though 42 years later nostalgia had rekindled emotions of war, and hatred towards the war criminals of 1971.
This small movement started mainly by students with no politcal involvement at first, was later joined by political parties, freedom fighters, war veterans, senior citizens and other eminent personalities of Bangladesh. However the organizers of the sit-in have decided to not let any political leaders address the protest, in order to keep it neutral.
The protest is taking place in the capital’s Shahbagh area,which is a key point in the capital, adjacent to Dhaka University, National Museum, Suhrawardy Udyan, Central Shaheed Minar and Bangla Academy, which has a historical significance to the people for its link with the birth of the nation and the people’s struggle.
The organizers are keeping the entire protest non-violent, and as can be seen for the last three days, there has been motivational speeches, patriotic songs, street plays and art, and anti-war criminal chants and slogans. A lot of creativity has been put into the demonstration, as protestants have portrayed their vexation over the ruling by transforming their bodies into banners and posters, paper and waste products into effigies, wooden sticks into a symbolic cage and the streets into canvases.
At this very moment the crowd is no longer limited to just students. Children, housewives, laborers and people from all classes and castes have come together merely as citizens of Bangladesh who were not happy about the ruling. People are also signing petitions demanding to see Quader Mollah executed in the gallows. Different organizations such as the Sector Commanders’ Forum, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Sammilito Krira Poribar, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal and Gonotantrik Bam Morcha have expressed solidarity with the organizers of this movement.
The government Awami League, has also lauded this movement in the parliament, and has expressed its support to the organizers of this protest.