Protest Saga

The Shahbag Mass Movement of 2013 in Bangladesh began on Tuesday February 5, 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the demand of capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah and all the other accused war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. Abdul Quader Mollah was charged with abetting the Pakistani army; actively participating in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh; rape (including the rape of minors); and mass murder of Bangladeshis in the Mirpur area of Dhaka during the Liberation War of Bangladesh. The many grievous atrocities committed by Abdul Quader Mollah during the liberation war earned him the nickname of Mirpurer Koshai (Butcher of Mirpur). On February 5, 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison after he was proved guilty in five out of the six charges against him. Within hours of the verdict, mass discontent broke out in Bangladesh where most people were expecting capital punishment for Mollah. The bloggers and online activists gave voice to the public opinion and called for a mass demonstration at the Shahbag intersection in central Dhaka. People joined the protest and the demonstration culminated into the 2013 Shahbag movement. The Shahbag intersection is currently being referred to as Projonmo Chottor (New Generation Circle). It has also been referred to as Shahbag Square in a nod to the historic and revolutionary events which unfolded in Tahrir Square in Egypt. Thousands have been holding day and night vigils at Shahbag refusing to leave until Mollah and other war criminals get capital punishment. A protester and blogger named Ahmed Rajib Haider, who had actively participated in the protest from the beginning, was brutally killed on 15 February by Islamic militants.

© Reshad Kamal /



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