Md Tauhedul Islam Rafi :
The procession of leaders and activists of various religious organizations including Hefazat-e-Islam towards the French Embassy in Dhaka ended at the Shantinagar intersection due to police obstruction.They held a brief rally on Monday afternoon to demand the severance of diplomatic relations with France, the closure of the French embassy in Bangladesh, the boycott of French goods and the passage of a condemnation motion in parliament Junaid Babungari, central secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam.
Due to their program, the traffic on Baitul Mukarram, Gulistan, Paltan, Press Club, Kakrail and Shantinagar has been suspended and the commuters have been suffering for more than three hours. Demonstrations are taking place in various Muslim countries around the world over the publication of a caricature of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM) in a French magazine. In Bangladesh, too, religious groups have protested and called for a boycott of French products.
As part of this, Hefazat-e-Islam’s Dhaka Metropolitan President Nur Hossain Qasemi announced the siege of the French embassy on November 2nd at a rally under the banner ‘Combined Islamic Parties’ in front of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on Friday. According to him, thousands of activists from various organizations, including Hefazat-e-Islam, have been gathering at the north gate of Baitul Mukarram since Monday morning.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Motijheel Zone Assistant Commissioner Zahidul Islam Sohag said traffic was blocked on both sides of Baitul Mukarram, Gulistan and Nightingale Junction as they took up positions across the area.
Meanwhile, Shahbagh Police Inspector (Patrol) Abul Bashar said that there was a kind of ‘chaos’ as two to three thousand people stood in front of the Foreign Ministry demanding extension of visa and return to Malaysia. Due to that, the traffic in front of the press club is also closed.
In this situation, the guards left for the French Embassy in Gulshan in a procession at around 12:15 pm. They came to Shantinagar junction through Paltan, Nightingale junction, Kakrail at around 1:15 pm and got stuck in the police barricade.
The protesters later rallied there. Hefazat-e-Islam central secretary general Junaid Babungari and Dhaka metropolitan president Nur Hossain Qasemi addressed the supporters in a mini-truck. Babungari said diplomatic relations with France should be completely severed. We have to boycott the national product of France. It demands faith. God bless Rizik, we will not have anything if we boycott French products. ”
He called on traders to “throw away” French goods and demanded that the National Assembly pass a resolution condemning France. “In order to put out this fire, France must apologize to Muslims around the world,” said Nur Hussein Qasemi.
Demanding the closure of the French embassy in Dhaka, he said, “After the movement, we want to see the activities of the government. If the government fails, strict action will be taken later. After a short rally, the Hefazat workers took part in the”Retransfer” (munajat) at Shantinagar intersection. Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ramna Zone Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police SM Shamim said. After that, when they left the position and returned, the traffic started again at half past one (1:30) in the afternoon.