[Dhaka Correspondent] A faction of the Islami Oikya Jote Thursday alleged that Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh was the mastermind behind the recent incidents that followed the publication of a controversial cartoon in Alpin, a satirical weekly of Prothom Alo.
“The cartoon has undoubtedly hurt the religious sentiments of the people, but the incidents that ensued last week over the issue are part of a clear conspiracy by the Jamaat,” said Misbahur Rahman, chairman of the IOJ faction, at a press briefing. Misbah told newsmen that the meeting between the religious leaders and the law adviser, then the apology by Prothom Alo’s editor the following day and the clash between demonstrators and police near Shahbag occurred at the instigation of Jamaat.
Misbah, terming Jamaat a historical criminal, said that it wanted to prolong the state of emergency and was therefore impeding the democratization process. “For this Jamaat is destabilizing the country by fanning up religious sentiment, and this is part of its conspiracy,” said the IOJ chairman.
He also quoted the law adviser, Mainul Hosein, who on September 18 said, “It is a conspiracy to destabilize the country. We are very concerned over the issue.” The IOJ faction also placed a three-point demand, including promulgation of a blasphemy act and formation of a judicial probe commission to identify those persons who had masterminded the incidents.
Alpin, a weekly magazine of the Prothom Alo, published a cartoon story titled “Naam” on the sixth page of its 431st issue. The cartoon allegedly ridiculed the Prophet by adding his name before a cat.