I was forwarded an SMS by one friend around 3:30pm about the protest at Shahbagh and I rushed after taking leave from my office!
On the way I saw very few vehicles on the street, but many rickshaws as usual, due to the shutdown called by Jamaat against the tribunal and its verdicts. Well, people are afraid of Jamaat sensing their violent approach.
In front of the National Museum I saw around 100 protestors forming a human chain demanding that the verdict in Abdul Quader Mollah case be reviewed and he be ordered DEATH PENALTY.
I followed the suit, found my friends Triesha, Nurullah, Sharat and Sadat–the informer–there. Thanks to them.
We stood there for an hour. Then many others kept joining the protest and soon it turned a flood.
The agitation then moved for Shahbagh intersection and OCCIPIED the circle.
The protestors were chanting slogans, singing patriotic songs and lit candles until the mighty Chhatra League activists showed up.
Many of the people started leaving the protest because of their presence even though the protest was supposed to continue throughout the night!
Let’s hope for the best!!! (at 10pm Jan 5)
Blog & Online Activists’ Network was the initiator of the human chain as an immediate expression over the verdict. Their announcement about the demo was spread fast and hence, hundreds joined. Protestors from different organisations — Projonmo ’71, left parties — also attended the demo alongside a number of individuals who are active on social issues.
After an hour’s human chain, the agitators OCCUPIED SHAHBAGH intersection around 5pm; they formed a rectangular human chain. They sat, they sang, and they chanted slogans. They affirmed that the protest would continue through the night. And it actually happened as it’s still underway.
Well, even though the Chhatra League appeared at the scene and some aggrieved people left the place, some 500 protestors were still there until 4am and the rest 200 continued their efforts to keep SHAHBAGH OCCUPIED.
People started coming in numbers after 8am because some of the organisers in the late night declared that the gathering would be revived at 7am. However, the program didn’t stop.
The former and current students of DU fine arts faculty manufactured several effigies of Quader Mollah and hung those from the traffic signal-posts. Some were burnt in the night and several others are awaiting fire!
The law enforcers have been very cooperative with the protestors since last evening. The RAB joined the riot police squad in the morning.
All party people came and expressed solidarity with the protest, even though they didn’t stay for long. But the BNP and its student wing Chhatra Dal didn’t appear, neither they supoorted the cause–since they’re the key ally of Jamaat, who assisted Pakistan army against the Bangalees.