[Dhaka Correspondent] Several hundred Islamists Friday went out on demonstrations in front of Baitul Mukarram mosque in Dhaka and brought out a procession protesting against the publication of a cartoon in Prothom Alo weekly supplement, Alpin, and an article in Weekly 2000, alleged to have hurt the religious sentiment of Muslims.
After Friday prayers, the protesters took to the streets and chanted slogans against the editors and publisher of Prothom Alo and Weekly 2000, demanding their arrest and cancellation of declaration of these newspapers. They marched towards the Paltan and Dainik Bangla crossings and held a rally in front of the central mosque.
Under the banners of Islamist parties and organizations, the protesters brought out separate processions, held rallies and burnt the effigies of Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, Weekly 2000 editor Golam Mortoza and publisher Mahfuz Anam near the mosque. The protesters also burnt a copy of Prothom Alo.
Witnesses said Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan, Islamic Oikya Andolon, and Khelafat Chhatara Majlis led the demonstrations.
The biggest rally was organized under the banner of Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh. HuT leaders and activists held the rally in front of Baitul Mukarram and burnt Maitur Rahman, Golam Mortoza and Mafuz Anam in effigies.
Soon after the protesters started marching towards the Prothom Alo office, police stopped them near Bijoy Nagar. Intercepted by the law enforcers, HuT leaders and activists marched towards the Paltan crossing and blocked the road. Protesters ended their demonstrations around 3 in the afternoon. They said they would form resistance committees across the country within a fortnight.
After the programmes, Hizb ut-Tahrir announced fresh programmes for boycotting the newspaper and the magazine through forming resistance committees. HuT will also exchange views with the newspaper vendors and advertisers to persuade them to boycott these two newspapers.
Traffic on roads going though the Dainik Bangla and Paltan crossings, Kakrail, Bijoy Nagar and by the National Press Club remained suspended during the processions, causing severe traffic congestion in other parts of the city.
Alpin on September 17 published a cartoon, ‘Naam’ (Name), and the Eid issue of Weekly 2000 published an autobiographical write-up, Sutanati Samachar, on September 21, believed to have hurt the religious sentiment of many Muslims. The Weekly 2000 authorities called back all the copies of its special Eid issue from newsstands.