Hundreds of leaders and activists of pro-liberation and progressive organisations demonstrated at Gulshan-2 intersection on Tuesday demanding action against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for her remarks about the number of 1971 Liberation War martyrs.
As per their earlier announcement, leaders and activists of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Muktijoddha Sangsad, Sector Commanders’ Forum, and other pro-liberation organisations and free-dom fighters started gathering at Gulshan-2 since 10am, reports UNB.
As they moved towards Khaleda’s residence to lay a siege around 11am, police intercepted them saying they cannot allow them to hold any gathering in the diplomatic zone.
Later, the protestors took position in front of Gulshan Tower at the Gulshan-2 intersection and chanted various slogans demanding Khaleda’s punishment.
Speaking at the gathering, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee acting president Shahriar Kabir asked Khaleda to apologise for her remarks, and urged the government to bring a sedition charge against her for her ‘derogatory comments about martyred freedom fighters’.
Shahriar Kabir also demanded formulation of a law to punish those who will make offensive remarks against freedom fighters.
He said they registered their protest in a peaceful manner as the area is under diplomatic zone. Sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhashini also criticised Khaleda for her comments and urged the government to file a sedition case against her.
State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote president Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachchu, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee general secretary Kazi Mukul and Shaheed Jaya Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, among others joined the protest.
The demonstrators left the area after peacefully registering their protest around 12noon. Earlier on December 21, Khaleda at a discussion at Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh raised ques-tions about the number of Liberation War martyrs.
“There’re controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There’re also many books and documents on the controversies,” said Khaleda. The official number of the 1971 Liberation War martyrs is 30 lakh.
Khaleda’s remarks triggered widespread criticism, prompting Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Commit-tee to ask her to withdraw her comments and apologise. A defamation case was also filed on Thursday in Narail against Khaleda in this connection.