Photo: Walking for Justice Team.
A nation started walking in 1971. The country, Bangladesh creed for justice for 42 years. After all these years finally the time has arrived. International Crimes Tribunals (ICT) Bangladesh was set up in 2009 to try the collaborators who helped Pakistani army to commit crimes against humanity. Three verdicts came from the tribunal and the party who opposed the birth of Bangladesh Jamaat E Islami where most of the war criminals belong to, started severe unrest in Bangladesh including attacking, murdering, raping, looting assets of religious minorities, demolishing temples, police stations or other government set up.
Where these powers are coming from? The power coming from the network and the funding they have worldwide, especially in UK. Jamaat E Islami has a strong hold in UK and one of the alleged war criminal Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin who escaped from Bangladesh shortly after the liberation war is currently Director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin was a member of infamous Al Badar Brigade that was responsible for planning the blue print and execution of intellectual killing mainly just before the independence and throughout the independence war. He is accused of abducting, torturing and killing 18 journalists, academics and doctors during the bloody war of independence in Bangladesh in 1971.
His legal representative already started the procedure to create pressure on UK government not to return him. Bangladesh government is keen to have him returned and aimed to use all means diplomatic and legal or try him absentia.
But the spirit of #Shahbag gave people a new hope and motivated the activist who wants the justice, in a different way. They believe in peaceful protest and want to raise their voice against impunity. They want to request the UK government to send the war criminal to Bangladesh so they can face the consequence of their horrendous crime.
A group of people took an extra ordinary measure to send their demand to UK government. They planned to commence a walk from Oldham, Manchester where the first Shahid Minar (Monument for the martyr of Bengali Language movement of 1952. A symbol of patriotism) was built out of Bangladesh to London. IT is called ‘Walking for Justice’. The walk will end up in Shahid Minar in London. A petition will be submitted to prime minister David Cameron on 26th of March, the independence day of Bangladesh.
According to the plan the walking started with one man Sajjadul Aziz Malk on 20th of March 2013 at 8 o’clock in the morning. Other people reknowed journalist Aminul Haque Badhsah, Cultural Activist Monjulika Jamali, Srimiti Azad, Swapan Chowdhury, Journalist A S M Masum, Jewel raaj. joined in Manchester Oldham, Hyde, Stoke On trent, Rugby, Birmingham, Miltonkynes, and various other places.
They ‘Walking for Justice’ group, coordinated by renowned Actor, Drama Director Fazlul kabir Tuhin through snow and rain and shivering cold. One of the member of the group Reknowned Journalist Aminul Haque Badsha fell in ill several times. But he did not stop. He said, our freedom fighters fought with all the troubles and won the fight. I can do the least. Srimiti Azad, her son was crying over the phone requesting her to come back. She replied justice is important then my motherhood now. I have to walk. People joined the group in different cities and walked for 10 to 15 miles. Policeman stopped him to take photos. British people in the way heard the cause and became emotional. They said we don’t believe how our government (UK government) let those war criminal enter and stay in Britain.
People offered food, shelter even money. Walking for Justice refuses any sponsors and continuing the journey with their own expenses. They are overwhelmed with the love and the support they have received so far both from Bangladeshi and British people and other nationals.
Tomorrow, 26th of March the group are reaching in London. They will reach London Regents Park at 11 am. From there they with others will march to Downing Street to submit a petition to prime minister at 1.00 pm. Later (1.3pm) they will walk to Shahid Mnar in Altab Al Park and at 3.oo pm the walking for justce of 170 miles will come to an end with paying homage to the martyrs of liberation war of Bangladesh 1971.
The weather is unusually bad compared to March. It is freezing cold with terrible wind. Tomorrow will be the middle of the week and most of us down to work. Should we miss this event in Regents park on 26th of March because of all of our civilised problems? Sajjad has a small simple demand to us. In exchange of their one mile of walking, they demand presence of 10 people. Is it a big thing to ask for? Our ancestors fought a battle against a mighty army and the trained collaborators with very limited aid. We waited we tolerated those Razakars’ Al Badars to fly National flag on their car. Can not we turn one day as day of ours? Can not we show up tomorrow in Regents park and show our solidarity with the spirit of 1971?
The decision is all yours.
Written by a Guest Blogger lives in London,UK.