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Third day of B’desh protests

world Updated: Feb 08, 2013 01:09 IST
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Mass protests over a “lenient” sentence of a top Jamaat-e-Islami leader for 1971 war crime charges continued for the third consecutive day Thursday with the Bangladesh youngsters demanding death penalty for the fundamentalist.

Witnesses said the protesters grew in number in the past two days while they staged candle light vigils for two consecutive nights.

They have called for a grand rally Friday in a bid to intensify their demand for capital punishment for JI assistant secretary general Abdul Kader Mollah, who was sentenced to life term by the International Crimes Tribunal. Five of the six charges against Mollah were proved during the trial.

A square, adjacent to premier Dhaka University, was decorated with war crime suspects’ effigies hanging from lamp posts and bamboo poles, while the protesters sang Liberation War time patriotic songs and chanted 1971 slogans beating drums while leading singers joined them in chorus.

JI, the party which was opposed to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence and sided with Pakistani troops during the Liberation War, said the war crimes charges were baseless and part of a political vendetta.