Hefazat calls strike for today

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:09am on March 28, 2021

Hefazat-e-Islam has called a countrywide dawn-to-dusk general strike protesting at the attacks on their rallies and the killing of five people in police firing on Friday at Hathazari in Chattogram and in Brahmanbaria during their protests against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh.

At least five people were killed and 90 others injured as activists of different Islamist organisations clashed with the police and ruling Awami League activists in Dhaka, Chattogram and Brahmanbaria during protests against Modi’s two-day visit that ended on Saturday. 

Hefazat educational and cultural secretary Harun Ezhar on Friday announced the daylong hartal for today.

‘The decision to call the strike was made by Hefazat-e-Islam amir Junaid Babunagari. We are just announcing the decision,’ he said.

Hefazat activists took to the streets protesting at the arrival of Modi, who came to Bangladesh to join the celebrations of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the birth centenary of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Addressing a demonstration in Dhaka, Hafazat joint secretary general Mamunul Haque on Saturday said that if anyone tried to create obstacles to their strike, there would be tougher actions thereafter.

In a press conference later in the day, Chhatra Adhikar Parishad’s central joint convener Abu Hanif expressed their solidarity with the strike called by the Hefazat, protesting at the killing in police firing.

Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in a statement extended its ‘moral support’ to the scheduled strike.

Islami Andolan Bangladesh brought out a procession in the city expressing its support to the strike and protesting at the deaths of people in police firing during Friday’s protests.

The Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association on Saturday decided to continue running bus services in Dhaka and inter-district services to and from the capital today.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the association after the strike called by the Hefazat, said a press release.

Association leaders urged the police to ensure safety on roads for smooth vehicular movements.

The meeting was chaired by DRTOA general secretary Khandakar Enayet Ullah while leaders of Phulbaria Bus Terminal Owners’ Association, Saidabad Inter-District and City Bus Terminal Owners’ Association and Mohakhali Bus Terminal Owners’ Association were also present.

The government Friday night deployed Border Guard Bangladesh personnel in different districts to assist the civil administration in maintaining law and order.

 ‘A sufficient number of BGB personnel has been deployed in different districts on orders from the home ministry since Friday night,’ BGB director (operations) Lieutenant Colonel Fayzur Rahman told New Age on Saturday.

He, however, did not reveal the number of the BGB personnel and the districts where they were deployed.

The deployment came after Friday’s protests against Modi’s visit.